Two North Central Florida Families Have Their Fallen Marines Memorialized
GAINESVILLE- A man dedicated to creating a lasting tribute for families of fallen marines made a stop in Gainesville Saturday.
The father of fallen marine Philip Clark was left almost speechless after seeing the memorial bust created in memory of his son Philip. Mike Clark said, "It's absolutely amazing. The likeness is just, it's unbelievable." Philip was a marine. He died in combat in 2010.
Another fallen marine, Wayne Vincent was also memorialized. His father Lee Vincent said, "[it] just reinforces that for us that Wayne's and Philip's lives weren't wasted. You know, you have to look for the good."
The scupltures were hand crafted by an artist who's making his way across Florida to make sure every family that's lost a marine has something to remember them by. The artist takes every detail into consideration when he makes the sculptures. If you look at a picture of Philip you can see a small Chickenpox scar, and if you take a look at the sculpture made in his likeness you'll see it's right where it belongs.
All the way from Jacksonville, Cliff Leonard spent three months piecing together the scupltures. Leonard said, "It allows these young men that, you know, most of them are 19, 20, 21 years old, to live on."
And Leonard says the hard work is all worth it once he sees the family's reaction. Clark said,"From the side, from the back. It's him and it just kinda makes me feel warm."
Both families get to take the scupltures home and pass them down to those who'll keep these fallen soldiers forever in their hearts.
The sculptures were given to the families free of charge. As for Leonard, he still has about 40 more families to make busts for.
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