To the editor:
Last year, my family and I attended the October rededication of Mattos Field, named for my great-uncle, Pvt. Joseph S. Mattos Jr, killed in action on Oct. 5, 1918, one day after his 19th birthday. Gloucester and its Portuguese community donated funds to establish Mattos Field in 1935 in memory of Joseph, a first-generation American who fought bravely for his country and community during World War I.
For 84 years, Mattos Field has served as a neighborhood green space, playground and softball field enjoyed by generations. In recent years, funds and resources were once again donated. The Light Up Mattos team of volunteers worked tirelessly for many years to restore the field with new bathrooms, bleachers, backstop, scoreboard, and lights/
Now, not even one year after the rededication, we are told that the city of Gloucester is considering building a new school on Mattos Field! Will the new bathrooms, bleachers, backstop, scoreboard and lights all fall victim to bulldozers?
More than $200,000 was spent in the last two years to light up Mattos Field.
Pvt. Private Joseph S. Mattos Jr. lost his life fighting for his country and community. His was the ultimate sacrifice. And now will he also lose his field, which has served his community so well these past 84 years?
We ask the city of Gloucester to let Joseph keep his field and let him rest in peace.
Lisa Perkins Templeton
Fleming Island, Florida