It has been said before that true heroes never die. These words were proven during a memorial for Marine Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell of North Carolina. Cpl. Ferrell grew to call the Thurmont community his second family, as he was assigned to the naval support facility at Camp David.
On September 29, 2015, Ferrell was a victim of a hit-and-run while pulled over on Route 15 north bound to lend his assistance to a stranded motorist in a heavy rain storm.
On the morning of June 11, 2016, just four months shy of one year since Ferrell’s death, the Thurmont community, along with Ferrell’s family, friends, and his North Carolina hometown community, gathered for a dedication ceremony at Memorial Park in Thurmont, hosted by the Thurmont American Legion.
During the ceremony, guest speaker, David Wood, expressed with admiration, “That day, Cpl. Ferrell wasn’t ordered to pull over and help, but he did what any non-commissioned officer of the Marine Corps does: He led by example.”
This same notion echoed through every word spoken about Ferrell during the ceremony.
Congressional Candidate Daniel Cox said, “We understand that this Marine is a hero, because not only did he serve when not required to, he paid the ultimate sacrifice for it.”
Prior to the completion of the ceremony, a pin oak tree had been planted and dedicated to Ferrell in Memorial Park, along with a new highway sign revealed, dedicating the Catoctin Furnace Trail footbridge to Ferrell in honor of his selflessness, kindness, and dedication to helping those in need. His parents, Dan and Donna Ferrell, were also given a smaller, exact replica of the dedication sign to be taken home with them to Carthage, North Carolina.
Following the ceremony, a pig roast was held at the American Legion, from which all proceeds were donated to the Carthage Police Department in North Carolina, in Ferrell’s name.
Just as Emily Potter once said, “Heroes never die. They live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who would follow in their footprints,” so will Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell live on eternally in the hearts and minds of his loved ones, the Thurmont community, and those who travel Route 15 northbound through Thurmont.
Photos by Allison Rostad
Sgt. Tyler Bergeron, who served with Cpl. Ferrell, presents Cpl. Ferrell’s parents, Dan and Donna Ferrell, a scale replica of the dedicated footbridge sign.
The sign reveal for the Catoctin Furnace Trail footbridge that spans across Rt. 15, in honor of Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell.