NEW LONDON -- Standing at the flagpole in front of the New London-Spicer High School on Veterans Day, the family, friends and former school teachers of Ryane Clark joined local veterans and students in a ceremony to honor the soldier who was killed Oct. 4 while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
During the Thursday morning ceremony, a memorial plaque was dedicated in honor of Clark, who was a 2007 NLS graduate.
"We dedicate this memorial to a fallen hero and veteran of these Unites States," said NLS teacher and veteran Rick McClain. "Ryane strived to truly be the best he could be. For that we all owe him a debt of gratitude."
Placed on the exterior wall of the school near the main student entrance, the plaque called Clark a "student, athlete, soldier, hero."
"We hope that this wall will forever stand as a reminder of the sacrifice Ryane and others have given in defense of freedom the world over," said McClain.
During a prayer, Alton Fiskness, a veteran, pastor and NLS teacher, said, "We are thankful for the time that Ryane was part of our community and we pray that this memorial plaque will remind us to focus on the values that Ryane stood for including service, commitment, loyalty and faith."
Fiskness prayed that Clark's memory "be inspiration and example to us."
After singing the national anthem, members of the New London-Spicer choir gave roses to Clark's parents, Tracy and Rick Clark, of New London.