Manatee County honors fallen deputy with a mobile memorial
Deputy Doug Clark has been added to Beyond The Call of Duty’s rolling memorial honoring those who died in the line of duty.
BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Friends and family are coming together to celebrate the life of a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was taken too soon.
Beyond The Call of Duty honors Law Enforcement who have lost their lives in the line of duty in 2021 by decorating a trailer with hundreds of portraits of service men and women.
This year, Doug Clark, a MCSO deputy, joined that memorial wall. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Aug. 6, 2021, and tragically died weeks later on Aug. 25.
Clark’s widow Karen was there to see her late husband’s portrait, gently tucking a flower alongside the tribute. She describes Clark as a man of many talents, jumping into daring hobbies like cave diving and competitive shooting. The couple had been married for 27 years and had six children together.
It’s hard for her to look up at the memorial and think of all the other families who are missing their loved ones like she is, but there is comfort seeing her husband recognized for his valiant service through the years.
“I have a very strong faith and God has given me peace through all of this,” Clark said. “Without that, I don’t know how people walk through it.”
Beyond The Call of Duty will be on the road for nearly three months, crossing 23,000 miles across the United States. Throughout the journey, the memorial visits 268 police departments, honoring 608 men and women.
“These are beautiful men and women that have a story,” Jagrut Shah, the founder of Beyond The Call of Duty. “We seem to always forget that they did pay the ultimate sacrifice.”
Before COVID a total of 147 officers lost their lives in the line of duty said Shah. The memorial was originally 20 feet long and has now expanded to 40 feet long to fit the increasing number of fallen officers.
“This is full of love, let’s keep the hatred aside and talk about love because it will overcome all of the bad and evil,” said Shah.
The mobile memorial will continue it’s journey through Florida, moving on to Fort Lauderdale and Miami on Tuesday.
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