In Hornell, hundreds gathered in the streets along state Route 36 to say 'goodbye', to say 'thank you', and to pause in a moment peaceful reflection for a fallen hero.
HORNELL — On the hottest day of the year, a subtle breeze carried a stone cold silence.
Monday evening, communities spanning Steuben County lined streets and highways to send off a protector and revered figure in the community.
A procession of dozens of New York State Police vehicles escorted the body of Nicholas F. Clark home for a final time after the 29-year-old trooper was shot and killed early Monday morning while responding to a domestic dispute in the Town of Corning involving a suicidal man, according to authorities.
In Hornell, hundreds gathered in the streets along state Route 36 to say ‘goodbye’, to say ‘thank you’, and to pause in a moment peaceful reflection for a fallen hero.
In the early evening hours, the rumored route and time of 6:30 p.m. spread by word-of-mouth only. As 6:30 came and passed, it didn’t shake the resolve of those who wished to pay tribute to Clark for his service.
As 7, then 7:30 approached, the crowds only grew in size.
In the meantime, those who knew Clark recalled his driven demeanor and love of family. Those who didn’t offered words of thanks for his service, and some shed a tear.
Shortly before 8 p.m., the motorcade arrived in the Maple City, greeted by hands over hearts, salutes and a reverent bowing of heads.
On its way southbound to the HP Smith & Sons Funeral Home in Canisteo, the procession passed under a massive American flag, hanging from the outstretched bucket of the Hornell Fire Department’s ladder truck.
In the trail of the procession, a long silence continued, as onlookers failed to find the words that would restore comfort and peace of mind in the wake of a senseless tragedy.