Friday marks two years since Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas Clardy was killed when an alleged drugged driver struck his cruiser during a traffic stop on the Mass Pike in Charlton.
“If I had five more minutes with Tom Clardy, I’d tell him how much I respected him and admired him," said Charlton barracks Commander Lt. Michael Smith. "I respected and admired his work ethic, his compassion for the people we served. I’d tell him how much I respected his commitment to this uniform and this fine organization.”
Trooper Clardy’s colleagues, family and friends gathered Friday to remember the 44-year-old Marine Corps veteran, husband and father of seven – by dedicating the Route 49 bridge over the Mass Pike in Charlton in his honor, renaming the road to the barracks where he worked as “Clardy Pass” and unveiling a smiling memorial in his memory.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said the memorial was an attempt "to represent to all of you how much your dad and your husband meant to so many people here in the Commonwealth.”
Massachusetts Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said, “It will serve as an inspiration for everyone who travels through this area and as a reminder of the spirit of Trooper Clardy.”
Trooper Clardy’s friend and commander says these memorials and the ones inside the barracks make it feel as if he hasn’t really left them.
“He’d be humbled by it," said Lt. Smith. "He was a big strong man, but he was a very gentle soul. I think he’d be a little embarrassed and a little humbled by it.”