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As Long as We Remember...

September 10, 2003

W. Allen Yingling Jr. - R. I. P.

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

No measure exists to accurately gauge the sadness our community feels over the sudden loss of William Allen Yingling, Jr. With his recent promotion to the rank of sergeant in the Frederick City Police Department, Allen's future was bright and full of promise.

Allen possessed a rare and enchanting mix of character traits. He was a very effective law enforcement officer, rising consistently through the ranks on the strength of his knowledge, expertise, and commitment.

All of his superiors had recognized his immense talent, from his days on patrol to his service in the undercover and Directed Patrol units. I had the honor and pleasure of both watching his work and talking to him on several occasions about his work in the city.

By way of full disclosure, I must tell you that Allen's mom, former County Commissioner Sue Ann, has always been a friend and mentor. Sue Ann, never known as a shrinking violet, has strong opinions and passion for this county. I also hold Allen's Dad, Bill, in high esteem for his quiet and gentle manner.

Allen combined the characteristics of his parents into a unique and effective personality. He felt strongly about things, but he was able to put those feelings into a larger sense of perspective. He was often mystified at the political process, as I think most of us are if we're being honest.

He was the pride and joy of his parents, and deservedly so. I can't count the number of times Sue Ann recounted his latest accomplishments, always with a smile as wide as the Potomac.

While many will remember Allen for his work with the police department, others will remember his magical tenor. Allen gladly contributed his gift and talent to official events, offering a heart-stirring rendition of our National Anthem.

On more than one occasion, I recall blinking back tears as he got to the most difficult stanzas of Francis Scott Key's signature tune. On at least one occasion, I remember a little smile on his face when he knew he had really "hit" it.

I spent all afternoon Saturday and all day Sunday remembering this fine young man, thinking about his wife and his loving family. I suggest we spend little or no time speculating about why something so tragic occurs, but invest our energy in remembering the substantial positive impact Allen made on improving public safety for Frederick's residents.

I will remember William Allen Yingling, Jr. for his enthusiasm for a line of work that only special people are able to do.

I will remember him for his beautiful voice, and, every time I hear the Star Spangled Banner sung, I'll inevitably compare the singer to Allen's benchmark.

I will remember how he laughed at me when I told him my score on the pistol range, and how he suggested that I stick to politics.

I will always remember the intense pride in his mother's eyes whenever she talked about him.

I will remember Sgt. William Allen Yingling, Jr., for his dedication, his commitment, and his passion for making the streets of Frederick safer.

My prayer is for God's grace to bring peace and comfort to a family suffering from an unimaginable burden of sadness. I also pray that we will remember how fortunate we all are for having had Sergeant Yingling in our lives, and ask God to cradle him in His gentle, loving hands.

Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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