BATH - Police, local officials and others flocked to the State Police Bath Barracks Monday to honor the dedication of the Trooper Nicholas Clark Memorial Bridge on a designated section of Interstate Highway 86.
Clark, was shot and killed in the line of duty July 2, 2018, while responding to a domestic incident on Welch Road.
The bridges on I-86 where the highway crosses State Route 415 is located less than a half mile north of the State Police Bath Barracks, where Clark was stationed at the time of his death.
“We can not bring back Nick,” said State Police Major Eric L. Laughton, Troop E Commander, to a large crowd at the event. “But we have the power to ensure he is never forgotten. This event today is evidence that Nick is still giving.”
Laughton said when anyone passes the I-86 bridge, they will remain inspired by Nick.
“This dedication serves in part to preserve the memory of one of the finest New York State Troopers to wear our uniform,” Laughton said.
U.S Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, as well as State Senator Tom O’Mara, R-Big Flats, and State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, R-Corning, who sponsored the state legislation also spoke at the dedication event.
“As we remember Nick, let us also remember that all of us standing together as a community for Nicholas Clark does not end today,” Reed said. “It continues. His legacy lives on. It will inspire the next generation of men and women who will put on the uniform. It will also inspire those young men and women who will look up to a role model when they see Nicholas Clark’s name on that bridge and say that’s the man I want to be.”
O’Mara and Palmesano said it is their hope that this action will stand as a lasting tribute and testament to the life, service, and ultimate sacrifice of this local hero.
“We are here to pay tribute to a true hero, Nicholas Clark,” Palmesano said to the dozens of police at the event. “This dedication is very fitting and a very stark reminder of the very dangerous job those serving in law enforcement and our first responders take each and every day to keep us and our families safe. We can’t thank you enough.”
“The signage on the bridge will forever provide remembrance of Nick’s courageous efforts and his service to our state and community,” O’Mara added.
All people that spoke at the dedication offered their condolences and prayers to the Clark family.
Clark, a native of Canisteo, was killed in the line of duty last July during a confrontation. He was 29 years old and had been a New York State Trooper for three years. He graduated from Canisteo-Greenwood High School in 2006 and from Alfred University in 2011.
A stellar athlete, he was a New York State high school wrestling champion, and a four-year starter and All-Conference outside linebacker for the Alfred Saxons, where he set school records in tackles and earned a tryout with the Buffalo Bills. He graduated from the State Police Academy in 2015 and was stationed in Ithaca and Auburn before transferring to the Bath barracks.
He is survived by his mother, Theresa, father, Anthony, and brother, Nathan.