Fallen Marine honored in Gloucester City field dedication

Saturday, September 30, 2017 09:57AM
Fallen Marine honored in Gloucester City field dedication. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 6 a.m. on September 30, 2017.

GLOUCESTER CITY, N.J. - The Gloucester City Mustangs played for something that goes beyond football during their game against the Fighting Irish of St. Petes on Friday.

"Everyone is playing for Marc today. That's what everyone said. Playing for Marc," said Mustangs' Steven Burkhardt.

Former Marine Corporal Marc Ryan was killed serving our country in Iraq in 2004.

Ryan's name is on the score board, and on the monument at the gate to the field.

"It's gorgeous. We may be a small town but we have a large heart," said Marc's sister, Lauren Harkins.

Along with his sister Lauren, the entire Ryan family was joined by so many in Gloucester City to officially dedicate The Mustangs field as "Marc Ryan Field."

The field is where Marc grew up playing.

His brother Christopher explains why Marc was selected captain of the Gloucester City Lions his senior year.

"He just played for the love of the game. Just grind it out everyday. That's just how he did things," said Christopher Ryan.

Along with the scoreboard and monument, a flag pole was put in to honor him as well.

Not only did his memory inspire the young players on the field Friday night, but his family says Marc lived to inspire others.

"Everything that I do. I always sit there and try to remind myself he wanted you to be happy. He wanted you to be proud, and wanted you to do the best you could in life," said Harkins.

The Ryan's also say Gloucester City has inspired them yet again.

"This is awesome. Are you kidding? They have done so much for my son and his remembrance so everyone would remember him," said Marc's mother, Linda Ryan.

Marc's father, Tom Ryan, added "Just keeping his memory alive and hearing from people he served with and everything, it works."

When asked what Marc would think about the dedication, the Ryan family says he wouldn't want it and that he would want the spotlight put on others.

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