Somerset’s Jacob Raposa Will Get the Memorial That Bike 1 Deserves on 9/4
Jacob Raposa was the “unofficial guardian” of Somerset for years before passing away unexpectedly in 2019. The loss of Raposa hit the community hard, leading one unknown citizen to create a loving memorial for him at the corner of County and Buffington Streets.
Over the years, the memorial has deteriorated, and it has been Constable David Balcius’s goal to create a more permanent memorial for Bike 1 and Raposa’s unwavering love for the community.
On Sept. 4, a permanent memorial for Raposa will be erected in the center of town.
A Project 2 Years In The Making
“I’m excited,” Balcius said. “It has struck some emotions to know that it’s finally coming to a head.”
For the past few years, Balcius has been advocating for a memorial that will stand the test of time, but he had to jump through a few hoops first.
“We had to find a spot on the green and get it approved by the chairman of the selectmen, then the highway department had to clear the spot and lay the cement. ... There was a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that had to get done,” Balcius said.
Balcius sang Officer Kelly’s praises for his involvement in the project, who played a large role in getting the project completed.
Where to Find the Memorial
The memorial will sit in the center of town on a patch of greenery near County and Buffington streets.
A cement bench that reads “In Memory of Jacob Raposa, Bike 1" will sit there proudly. It will have a gold plaque with Raposa’s smiling face on the front, and the bike that he used to respond to all of his calls with will sit beside it, thanks to restoration efforts completed by Balcius.
“Hopefully, whoever put the original memorial together will come forward so I can shake their hand,” Balcius said.
The Official Unveiling Ceremony
By the request of Raposa’s family, the memorial will be unveiled to the public at 9 a.m. on Sept. 4, on what would’ve been Raposa's 31st birthday.
Raposa died unexpectedly in his sleep in 2019 following a seizure.
“Everybody knew who Jake was,” Balcius said. “My hope for the memorial is that people don’t forget about (Raposa) and children who have needs. Everybody is important. They shouldn’t be forgotten.”