Maugansville's war memorial rededicated

May 31, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • Retired U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Ronald Bowers spoke Monday morning during the Memorial Day ceremony at the Maugansville Ruritan Club.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Maugansville memorial rededication

MAUGANSVILLE -- They are family and friends.

They also are veterans who served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The 103 names were read aloud Monday at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Maugansville Ruritan building north of Hagerstown.

Ruritan officials asked the Hagerstown-area community to notify the club of names of veterans who are friends or family members so they could be honored at the service, said Bob Walton, who organized the ceremony.

Monday's ceremony included the rededication of the Maugansville War Memorial and the donation of a gazebo by the Maugansville Historical Society in the Maugansville Ruritan Community Park to the village's citizens, said Walton, who is president of the historical society.

The community raised the money for the gazebo by donating pennies that were collected in jars by local schools and businesses, Walton said. Hence, the gazebo was named Miss Penny's Porch.


About 100 people attended the outdoor ceremony on a sweltering day in which the high temperature surpassed 91 degrees, according to local weather observer Greg Keefer's website at

Walton, Carl Galligan and Marty Lumm read the names of the veterans.

Two speakers, Deputy First Class Dan Watson with the Washington County Sheriff's Department, and former Washington County Commissioner Ronald Bowers, who is a retired U.S. Army Reserve major, spoke about two men who died in the line of service.

Watson, a Navy Seabee, mentioned his friend, Ryan Young, who died in Iraq in September 2005, when a bomb destroyed the vehicle in which he was riding.

Young served in the U.S. Navy for more than 13 years and was a Navy SEAL and Navy SEAL instructor, according to Herald-Mail archives. He was working as a private contractor performing high-risk diplomatic security when he died.

"His death was a horrible tragedy, but one that will always be remembered as heroic in the eyes of his team, his family, his friends, and the citizens of the United States," Watson said.

"It is the individuals like Ryan that assure that you and I can have this ceremony today," Watson said. He said it is imperative on Memorial Day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Bowers noted the Korean War veterans at the ceremony and the upcoming 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

He also expanded his recognition beyond war veterans to firefighters, police and rescue personnel.

Bowers told the story of an off-duty Hagerstown Police officer who died after he tried to stop a robber.

Roger Powers, a retired Hagerstown Police sergeant and Marine Corps veteran, said Bowers was speaking of Patrolman Donald Kline, who died on Dec. 13, 1975.

Kline had gone around the corner from his home to get a cup of coffee at Kim's Korner, a convenience store where the Corner Pub now stands at Five Corners near Washington County Hospital, Powers said.

According to Herald-Mail archives, Kline was in the store when it was robbed and he followed the robber out, chasing him down a nearby alley. Kline was fatally shot. Merle Unger was sentenced to a life term for the shooting death of Kline.

That police officer was a first-line defender who gave his life for our freedom, Bowers said.

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