LOYSBURG, BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — It’s 53 years since a young Bedford County man gave his life for his country, but his memory has not been forgotten. Marine Lance Corporal Darrell Magruder.
The marine was only 21 years old when he stepped on a land mine in Da Nang, during the Vietnam War. That was on April 18, 1966.
Family members say Darrell Magruder was the first Bedford County boy killed in action in that war. On Friday, his family, military veterans, and members of the community gathered at a local church to remember his sacrifice and to dedicate a bridge in his honor.
His sister, Mary Greenleaf says Darrell felt so strongly about serving that he quit high school in order to enlist and stayed in Vietnam when he could have left.
“He could have come home, but he re-enlisted, so he could serve in Vietnam. He was so dedicated to his country, that he felt the need to do so. He thought it was the right thing to do, and he couldn’t live with himself if he couldn’t do that,” she remembers.
A plaque like the one unveiled at the service now stands at the new Marine Lance Corporal Darrell Magruder Memorial Bridge, a constant reminder of a young hero’s service.
“We can’t express how much it did mean to us. It’s just a beautiful thing to have happen,” Mary says.
The Marine Lance Corporal Darrell Magruder Memorial Bridge is located over Three Springs Run in South Woodbury Township, near Loysburg.