April 22, 2007
EVANS, Ga.---Ryan Clark's twin brother Bryan and other family members were among those who attended the 22-year-old's memorial service yesterday at Lakeside High School.
Ryan was the second person killed in Seung-Hui Cho's campus shooting spree at Virginia Tech last week.
Tonight, classmates and an entire community mourned his loss.
Some of them knew him well. Others may not have known him at all. But the loss of 22-year-old Ryan Clark was clearly a loss that cut this community to its core.
"I still struggle to have to refer to Ryan in the past tense," said one of Ryan's friends, fighting her tears. "I feel as though he's only away at college and I'll be hearing from him soon."
As the events of last week's massacre unfolded before the world's eyes, it wasn't until now that the Martinez son was remembered publicly.
A song titled "Imagine" was the soundtrack for a slideshow for Ryan, a straight-A student studying biology and English.
Ryan was gunned down Monday morning inside his campus dorm. We would later learn the resident advisor had heard shots and rushed out of his room to help.
"I would have been the person to run out and shield him from the gunshot if I could, because I cared for him that much," another friend said.
Also on stage were Ryan's Virginia Tech band mates. A love for music he shared at Lakeside made him a Marching Virginian.
Ryan was a young man whose friends say was an amazing person and a good friend, and whose signature smile they say they won't forget.
Funeral services for Ryan Clark will be held tomorrow at noon at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Laney Walker Boulevard in Augusta.
The Marching Virginians will play at that service.