About Zachary

"Zachary was a free spirit in every sense of the word."

“Our son, Zachary Archer Cohn, was a force to be reckoned with. He was a ball of energy, overflowing with life, curiosity, and wit. He had the biggest brown eyes, just like marbles; we swore we could see heaven in those eyes. For Zachary, every day was an adventure he was thrilled to share with his big sister Jenna, little brother Henry, and baby sister Sydney.

Zachary came into this world with his share of hurdles to overcome—from food allergies to an uncomfortable physical condition called muscular torticollis—but, through it all, his smile never faltered. He was full of positive energy and shared his love of life with everyone he came into contact with.

Zachary was a free spirit in every sense of the word. All he wanted were his shorts, a t-shirt, and a pair of flip-flops and he was good to go. It was almost as if he knew his time here would be short and he wanted to enjoy every moment.

Even though Zachary was born 15 months after his sister, Jenna, it was like we had twins when we brought him home. Zachary idolized his big sister; everything she did, he did. And when they would bicker, as siblings do, Zachary did not mince words. Our sweet little boy would put on his serious voice and tell his sister: “I am so mad at you, Jenna.”

We remember when we went as a family to the doctor to find out whether Jenna, Zachary, and Henry were going to have a new little brother or sister; it was the first time we decided not to wait until the baby was born. When the doctor told us we were expecting a girl, Zachary’s initial response was “I am not going to help take care of a baby sister.” But it didn’t take more than a minute for him to change his mind, his loving nature taking over. He turned to us and declared, “Alright, fine, I’ll help take care of her.” That was Zachary—he couldn’t help but share what was in his heart. His love for his family was so strong and sure, we never went a moment without feeling it.

The sky was the limit for Zachary, but we like to imagine that he would have grown up to be an engineering superstar or electronic guru. He was happy to spend hours playing with cameras, computers, and basically anything with buttons and an on/off switch fascinated him. When he was three years old, we bought Zachary a Polaroid camera and it was love at first click. That sense of instant gratification when the picture printed out had Zachary occupied for hours.

Zachary’s favorite sport was swimming. He was a true water baby and had a natural gift. It was doing what he loved so much that Zachary was stolen from us. When we lost our son, we lost a treasured part of our family that can never be replaced or forgotten. We were blessed to have the short time we had with Zachary in our lives and he will forever be a part of our hearts.

The ZAC Foundation is a mission of love for our family. It is a living legacy to Zachary and we are committed to ensuring that no other child’s life is cut short in a water-related tragedy. We will work relentlessly to spread the messages of water safety throughout the country and the world.”

– The Cohn Family


Water Safety Center