Ritchie Cosponsors Bill Inspired By, Named For Slain Fort Drum Officer
The State Senate today approved a bill cosponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie to create the “Lt. Colonel Todd Clark Memorial Flag Presentment Program.”
The bill (S.5805), named for a 10th Mountain Division officer from Evans Mills who was killed earlier this month in Afghanistan, would provide that every family of a fallen service member be given US and New York State flags that flew over the State Capitol at half staff in their honor
“It’s a special tribute to our fallen soldiers and their families in recognition not only of their sacrifice but also their service for the Governor to order the flags at the Capitol lowered to half staff,” senator Ritchie said.
“This measure completes the tribute by allowing those flags to be officially presented to the families as a gesture of sympathy and gratitude from every citizen of New York State.”
The Governor has ordered the flags lowered at the Capitol and every state government building at least five times this year, and 12 times in 2012, usually to honor a fallen service member, but also in the case of certain dignitaries, deceased government leaders and national tragedies.
Lt. Col. Clark, a 17-year Army serviceman, was memorialized earlier this week in the Senate with a special resolution, sponsored by Sens. Ritchie and Albany Senator Neil Breslin. Clark was originally from the Albany area.
Senator Ritchie has taken steps to request the flags that were lowered in Lt. Col. Clark’s honor to be presented to his family.
The bill was sent to the Assembly.