20th Worker’s Memorial Held In Frewsburg

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FREWSBURG – Twenty years of memorializing workers across Chautauqua County who died on the job took place over the weekend.

The Chautauqua County Workers Memorial Committee held its 20th Workers Memorial Saturday morning at the Erlandson Overview Park.

To memorialize the more than 160 people from the 1800s to present day each name was read with a bell rang in their memory. The bell also has its own symbolism as well, with it just commissioned this year in honor of a past memorial committee member Mary Lou Dunning. 

The memorial honors workers from all career fields, from farming to customer service. While the event specifically honosed those who passed, Assemblyman Andy Goodell looks at current workers for inspiration.

“Everyone who gets up in the morning and goes to work and puts their time, and their energy, and their effort into making our county and our community better,” explained Goodell “And every one of those people that gets up, goes to work knows that there’s a chance they won’t come back”

Many, including the president of the Jamestown Labor Council David Wilkinson, believe this year is extra special, symbolizing a big anniversary.

“It’s 20-years since the county and the labor unions started it so we’re kind of celebrating how the longevity of honoring our workers that have passed away,” stated Wilkinson.

Since the 1800s, New York State has implemented many workplace safety protocols, however Wilkonson believes the biggest safety concern for the workforce today is COVID-19. 

“Safety conditions in the workforce right now are all about COVID,” said Wilkinson “We need our leaders to recommend wearing masks, get the shot, step up to the plate, and say the right things and encourage your voters to protect our workers.”

The latest workplace death that was honored this year is Jeremy Dolce with EMC Construction in Dunkirk who died in August 2020 from a workplace fall.


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