Highway to be named after fallen Minnesota soldier

Updated: September 30, 2019 11:57 AM

It's been almost nine years since Army soldier SPC. Ryane Clark was killed in action in Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Clark’s family, friends and community members will gather in New London to dedicate a stretch of Highway 23 in his honor.

“The pain doesn't go away,” said Tracy Clark, Ryane's mother. “I don't know if it gets easier—you just stay busy."

Tracy and her husband Rick have been working for several years to get Highway 23 between New London and Spicer named after their son, the Minnesota legislature recently approved the bill for the “Ryane Clark Memorial Highway.”

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"It's paving the way for others —keeping our soldiers, heroes, keeping their names alive , every time you drive by," said Tracy Clark. "Because, if we stop saying their name, stop telling their story they pass away again, and that hurts."

The Gold Star family has shared Ryane’s story of the Kandiyohi County boy who always wanted to join the military and gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting others.

“We hugged, we cried, we shared stories," said Rick Clark from a recent conversation with a former soldier.

Map of memorial highways and bridges in Minnesota

Clark said he just got a call from that soldier he had spent hours talking to in a parking lot.

"Never thought we'd hear from him again —until 3 weeks ago—he thanked me for changing his life and a new outlook," Clark said.

Ryane Clark Memorial Highway Dedication:

The dedication program will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, at the Ryane Clark Memorial in New London at the DNR parking lot on County Rd 31 and River View Lane.

If it is raining that afternoon, it will be held at the New London Fire Department.

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Eric Chaloux

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