Solemn faces flooded the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza to mourn the loss of 8-year-old Jeremiah Grant, who was fatally struck by a moving vehicle Saturday in Downtown Jersey City, as well as honoring all victims of traffic violence.
The Wednesday evening candlelight vigil began with a musical elegy to commemorate all pedestrians and cyclists killed by motor vehicle accidents in Jersey City.
Mayor Steven Fulop openly shared his condolences with Grant’s family and the community.
“It’s hard to see something bad happen to such good people who do everything right in the community. Everything. I could certainly say that the entire city grieves with the family. We know that Jerry is in a better place today so our condolences,” said Fulop.
Members of the Honey Bees Double Dutch team who performed on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, each shared heartfelt memories of their time spent with Jerry “Prince Bee” Grant.
The vigil, hosted by Jersey City Stands and Safe Streets Jersey City, opened with bag pipes of “Amazing Grace.”
Michael Billy, Executive Director of Hudson Pride Center, and moderator of the program, mentioned how the community shouldn’t stop finding new ways to eliminate vehicle fatalities in the city.
“In the spirit of the Honey Bees and in the spirit of the family as they so selflessly asked for this to not only be a vigil but for this to be a time where we can come together and ask ourselves…’Personally, how could I get involved to make sure this does not happen again,’” said Billy.
“Because if we don’t ask ourselves those questions we are going to be here over and over again,” he continued before introducing Safe Streets JC’s President, Kara Hrabosky.
This year alone, 12 people have lost their lives to traffic related incidents in Jersey City. Two of those deaths were motorcyclists, while the other fatalities were pedestrians and bicyclists.
In the past two months, seven people were killed by ongoing traffic, according to Hrabosky.
“Every year the number of pedestrians struck by cars in Jersey City has been increasing. This is entirely unacceptable and this is a true public help and public safety crisis,” Hbrabosky.
“Jerry was such a dynamic person who achieved much and had great promise.”