Highway Dedicated To Fallen Jamestown War Hero

Image by NYS Senate. Pictured from left to right: Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, Susan Rowley, President, Blue Star Mothers, NY Chapter, Steven Cooper, PFC Cooper's brother, Charles S. Cooper, Sr., PFC Cooper's father, Emma Cooper, PFC Cooper's niece, Debbie Groden, PFC Cooper's fiancee at the time of his death, Danielle Cooper, PFC Cooper's sister, Former State Senator Cathy Young and Katrina Fuller, Field Representative, Office of Congressman Reed.

KIANTONE – Part of Route 60 in the Town of Kiantone was officially dedicated in honor of a Jamestown war hero killed in the line of duty during a ceremony Friday afternoon.

Pfc. Charles S. Cooper, Jr. Image by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

Route 60 from the Jamestown City Line to Route 62 in the Town of Kiantone was named in honor of Private Charles S. Cooper Jr. who was killed by a roadside bomb in April 2005 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Private Cooper’s family, along with Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, Former State Assemblywoman Cathy Young, and several others gathered to honor the fallen soldier.

With a color guard present and many veterans, a local hero was commemorated for his bravery and sacrifice.

His close-knit family was honored as well, as a Gold-Star Family in Western New York who sacrificed their son for freedom, a freedom that Assemblyman Andy Goodell says is often taken for granted.

“We take so much for granted in our country that other countries can’t even conceive of the level of freedom that we have and opportunities that we have,” said Goodell. “What was particularly unique about Charles is he didn’t give his life here in America, he gave us life in a foreign country so that they could have the opportunity to realize what we have here and that is an incredible statement isn’t it, about commitment not just to the United States, but to another country on the other side of the world.”

A Jamestown High School graduate, at age 19-year-old Cooper received a Purple Heart during a previous incident before returning to active duty. A duty that Chautauqua County Veterans Affairs Director Greg Carlson says takes a lot.

“War takes those we love from us too soon, or at best it turns young men into old men prematurely,” Carlson. “Charles Cooper Jr. was taken from us too soon and he’s missed, he’s missed by you because you loved him, he’s missed by us because we didn’t get the chance to, but I know in my heart of hearts that his life had meaning.”

“War is hell, but we make war that we may live in peace,” explained Carlson. “I’ve been to countries where citizens refuse to take arms, they refuse to fight tyranny, they refused they refuse to fight Injustice, their stricken with poverty and hopelessness, they have nothing that we have here, they don’t have the many blessings that man like your son and your brother secured for us. Charles understood that peace is more than just an absence of War, true peace is justice, true peace is freedom, men like Charles have made this country just, made this country free.”


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