To the editor:

During a recent Gloucester School Committee meeting it was mentioned that “if he (Joseph Mattos Jr.) were here today and realized the importance of this project he would be OK knowing kids will continue to play on the property” even after the destruction of the newly renovated Mattos Field. Sadly, he’s not here. Joseph never returned home from fighting in Europe like his older brother, Manuel, to live a long, happy life in Gloucester.

Private Joseph S. Mattos Jr., my great-uncle, was killed fighting in France during World War I on Oct. 5, 1918, the day after his 19th birthday.

Children need good schools, but they also need sports fields and green spaces and the memorials to all those brave men and women who fought to keep our children safe and free! And if Mattos Field is bulldozed for a new school, what happens the next time a city needs land for a new project, will another veterans memorial or green space be destroyed? If Joseph were here today would he be OK with all this destruction?

Joseph sacrificed his life for his country as have so many brave men and women through the years. And now Gloucester wants him to sacrifice the memorial field in his neighborhood honoring Joseph’s memory and legacy and enjoyed by generations.

We cannot let the city of Gloucester turn off the lights in Mattos Field forever!

Lisa Templeton

Fleming Island

Florida

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