For the past six years, what has traditionally been a memorial service, has also become a celebration in its seventh year.
A silver lining in the death of a child seven years ago emerged with the dedication of a new crosswalk near the Eastside Family YMCA on Second Street on Saturday as mourners gathered in remembrance of the late Jacob Chapman. Chapman was killed after being struck by an oncoming vehicle while crossing Second Street to get to the YMCA, one of his favorite places to spend leisure time.
"Every year, on this day and at this time, we gather for Jacob. We light candles, let off balloons, and share a communal prayer in his name and memory," said Jacob's mother, Heather Chapman. "It's been a tough couple of years, but we've managed to get through it because we're family. This is what we do, and now, finally, something good will come from a very tragic accident."
Family and friends gathered on Second Street in Jamestown, directly across from the Eastside Family YMCA, where the late Jacob Chapman was struck by an oncoming vehicle seven years ago Saturday. Pictured rear center is Jacob’s mother, Heather Chapman. Surrounding her are family and friends of Jacob.
P-J photo by Chad Gustafson
And this is true, as approval for the crosswalk on the exact space where Jacob was tragically hit has been obtained from the state Department of Transportation.
It is scheduled to be completed next spring, and once done a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting will be held, with state Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean, and all other participants there to witness it.
The crosswalk will be dedicated to Jacob, and will forever be known as "Jacob's Crosswalk."
In closing the memorial ceremony, Jacob's mother said, "We will remember Jacob for the great kid that he was. He truly loved life, and with such a nice turn-out tonight it's obvious that he is still very much loved by those lucky enough to have known him. We miss you, Jacob, and through this crosswalk and our memories, we'll never forget you."