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Gateway to the Mountains

George Wireman

Chapter 27:  Memorial Park

World War I was the first great conflict to involve most of the civilized world. Historians still tell us that over 65,000,000 men were mobilized, of whom more than 8,500,000 were killed or died as a result of it.

When America entered the war on April 6, 1917, Thurmont, like most of the communities in the nation, responded to the call for men. When the war ended on November 11, 1918, there were 119 local men in uniform, most of them on foreign soil.

Thurmont was proud of its citizens in uniform and to further ex-press their pride, decided to erect a memorial as a lasting tribute to the brave and noble sons who had fought and died for the cause of freedom.

Early in 1922, a group of civic-minded citizens met to discuss plans for a memorial. A tract of land on East Main Street was donated by one of the citizens and it was decided upon to erect a pavilion suitable for housing four large bronze tablets, bearing the names of the 119 men who served their country during the war. Contributions were received and the memorial was erected and dedicated on November 11, 1922. The rostrum was built of native stone and proved to be a most fitting tribute to the citizens who had served their country. Surrounding the rostrum were eleven scarlet oak trees, each planted in memory of the eleven young men who had made the supreme sacrifice. Their names, which appear on the front tablet of the memorial, serve as a constant reminder, of the price we must often pay for freedom. Making this supreme sacrifice were:

  • Louis R. Adams
  • Jesse M. Pryor
  • Murry S. Baker
  • Clifford M. Stitely
  • Benjamin E. Cline
  • Raymond L. Stull
  • Edgar J. Eyler
  • Stanley M. Toms
  • William T. Fraley
  • James Sumerset Waters
  • Roy O. Kelbaugh

Although the memorial was a community project, it did not officially become a part of community property until November 11, 1928, when it was turned over to the Town Commissioners and accepted on behalf of the citizens, by Mayor, Frank L. Cady.

Today Memorial Park is an attractive site and plans are in the making to add still another memorial, to honor the citizens of the community who served their country during World War II. The following men served their country well and paid the supreme sacrifice during the Second World War:

  • Ray J. Stambaugh
  • Reed W. Bottomley
  • Reynolds Morrow
  • Edwin C. Creeger. Jr.
  • Austin Reed
  • Frank W. Albaugh
  • Annon Shriner
  • Raymond Pryor
  • Gordon L. Pryor
  • Olin W. Bales
  • William J. Grimes
  • Dale F. Ford
  • Hesson Sauble
  • Donald A. Duncan
  • Francis E. Valentine
  • Harry F. Fraley
  • John A. Gall
  • John F. Knott
  • Charles M. Stull

Chapter Index | Chapter 28: Cozy Restaurant

If you have any Information or historical news clippings on events in the Thurmont Area, Please send them to us so we can included them in our archives. E-mail us at: history@mythurmont.net