To the editor:

I have been privileged to have volunteered with some of the most interesting and caring individuals in our beautiful city. Serving on my son’s PTO, serving on our Clean City Commission, serving on our Cemetery Commission and our Open Space Committee and our Light Up Mattos Committee. Though it all learning and admiring the residents that come to serve as volunteers working to make our city better.

I have learned that a smile on a child’s face can make the clouds disappear, that cleaning a city is important for our creatures who live here, that a cemetery is our history and that open space is as important as sunshine, fresh air or water and being a veteran is the proudest job one can hold.

These three open spaces in our city are being considered for a new school and or renovation or merger of our two school, East Gloucester School and Veterans Memorial School.

Mattos Field: The city of Gloucester dedicated Mattos playground in 1935 in memory of Joseph S. Mattos Jr., a young Portuguese solider who died one day after his 19th birthday; he had served since he was 16 years old. He picked the Army because of his love for animals. He came from a proud, patriotic family that sacrificed its son for our freedom. This last Oct. 5, the day of his death 100 years ago, we held an honorable day for this young solider who gave his life so that we can be free today.

The Lt. Maxwell Parsons Playground: The Gloucester Playground Commission erected the Lt. Maxwell Parsons monument in 1937 in his memory. He was born Dec. 11, 1895 ,and died July 3, 1918. Lt. Parsons was in the U.S. Flying Corps. He died in an airplane accident at Taliaferro Field, Fort Worth, Texas on July 3, 1918.

Ganine Nancy Doucette Playground: The city of Gloucester dedicated the playground area in 1986 in her memory. Green Street Park was named after U.S Army Pvt. Ganine Nancy Doucette after her passing from leukemia while serving her country. John “Gus” Foote was instrumental in having Green Street Park dedicated in her memory.

These three pieces of land were singled out as honorable open spaces. Open spaces that in 1935 (Mattos Field), in 1937 (Parsons Playground) and in 1986 (Ganine Nancy Doucette Playground) residents came together to dedicate because of their importance to them to save for future generations to remember always.

Let’s work together to keep our open spaces, the one’s that we hold dear today and the one’s that we will learn to love tomorrow. They are all worth saving.

Patti Amaral