Marine Brandon Hardy Recognizes Road Dedication at West Fallowfield – Daily Local

Marine Brandon Hardy Recognizes Road Dedication at West Fallowfield – Daily Local


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WEST FALLOWFIELD — Fallen U.S. Marine Brandon Hardy was honored Friday with the designation of Route 41 (Gap-Newport Pike) as the Corporal Brandon Hardy Memorial Highway.

A ceremony was held in the Octorara High School auditorium, where Superintendent Stephen Lieber said Hardy was celebrated, remembered and remembered.

“On days like this, we remember those who came before us,” Lieber said.

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Posted photo/SEN CAROLYN COMITTA’SOFFICE

As a member of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, Hardy tragically lost his life on April 28, 2006, when an improvised explosive device killed him and two other passengers in a Humvee in Iraq. Hardy was 25 years old when he was killed.

His mother, Jill, said her eldest son had wanted to join the military since he was 10 years old. He first joined the United States Air Force and served for five years, then lost his pay and rank to join the United States Marine Corps.

Brandon Hardy, a US Marine in Iraq.  (Submitted photo/SEN CAROLYN COMITTA'SOFFICE)
Brandon Hardy, a US Marine in Iraq. (Submitted photo/SEN CAROLYN COMITTA’SOFFICE)

Hardy, his parents and three siblings all graduated from Octorara High School and lived in Cochranville.

Jill Hardy spoke about her son to the hundreds of student officials and community members who attended the ceremony. Tears filled the eyes of many of the speakers and those gathered.

Warren and Jill Hardy pose with a replica sign in memory of their son and U.S. Marine Brandon. Bill Richew/Media News Group)
Warren and Jill Hardy pose with a replica sign in memory of their son and U.S. Marine Brandon. Bill Richew/Media News Group)

“We are honored that the highway that Brandon traveled every day will be named after him,” Jill Hardy said.

Brandon’s mother described the day she heard the news.

“Eighteen years ago, this last Friday in April was exactly like today: the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and it was a beautiful spring day.

The auditorium was filled to capacity for a ceremony honoring U.S. Marine Brandon Hardy at Octorara High School.  (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)
The auditorium was filled to capacity for a ceremony honoring U.S. Marine Brandon Hardy at Octorara High School. (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)

“Until it wasn’t – in an instant, our lives changed forever!” The day lost its beauty and our hearts were broken. ”

Mom and dad talked about their son. Jill Hardy said Brandon had a passion for loving and serving people, and he never wavered in his determination.

“He was so proud to serve this country,” she said. “And we supported him.”

U.S. Marine Brandon Hardy's nieces and nephews recite the vows during a ceremony honoring their uncle.  (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)
U.S. Marine Brandon Hardy’s nieces and nephews recite the vows during a ceremony honoring their uncle. (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)

The mother said her son proposed to his girlfriend at a Trace Adkins concert, but the two never had a chance to get married.

Father Warren said his son particularly enjoyed activities such as hunting and fishing with his close-knit family.

“He was a wonderful young man,” he said. “It’s great that the community still knows his name.”

Octorara High School Choir honors Marines.  (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)
Octorara High School Choir honors Marines. (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)

Hardy was deployed to the Middle East three times during his five years in the Air Force. He graduated from high school on June 11, 1999, on the same stage as Friday’s ceremony, and departed for Air Force Recruit Depot in San Antonio on July 6.

He spent two years at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and then three years at Spokane Air Force Base in Washington.

“Then he decided he wanted to be a part of the rigor, dedication and brotherhood of the Marine Corps,” Jill Hardy said. “He wanted to get on the field and make a difference.”

Corporal Brandon Hardy/Chester County Detachment Marine Corps League #286.  (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)
Corporal Brandon Hardy/Chester County Detachment Marine Corps League #286. (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)

“My fear is that Brandon is not the great son I knew and that people will forget what he represented and what he died for.

“We are honored to see his name every day as people pass by Route 41.”

The Octorara High School Brass Band honors fallen veterans.  (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)
The Octorara High School Brass Band honors fallen veterans. (Bill Lettu/Media News Group)

State Sen. Carolyn Comitta was instrumental in promoting the road name change.

Initially, Rich Miller approached the Hardy family about starting the process of renaming a bridge and road after his son.

“While Mr. Rich was persistent in completing paperwork and pursuing officials, the process was not quick,” Jill Hardy said. She then consulted with the committer and his staff, and the senator took over the process, which she said “made it happen quickly.”

Komitta pointed out that he taught in the school district before being elected to the Legislature.

“Corporal Brandon Hardy grew up here, went to high school here, and this is his home,” Comitta said. “It’s great that the whole community remembers him and it’s only fitting that this road is named after him.

“We hope that when motorists see this sign, they remember not only Corporal Hardy, but all those who answered the call of duty and the sacrifices they and their families made for all of us. ”

Parkesburg Borough Councilman Rhett Lipscomb also attended the ceremony.

“Thank you to everyone in uniform who keeps us safe in this country,” she said.

The color presentation was made by Corporal Brandon/Hardychester County Detachment Marine Corps League #286. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Corporal Hardy’s niece and nephew. The Octorara High School brass band and choir sang the national anthem and performed the closing ceremony.



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