|Clarksburg's Cook Memorial Field to Be Dedicated Saturday|
|Staff Reports, |
01:19AM / Thursday, September 05, 2019
|The dedication will include an award presentation and community cookout at the field Cross Road at 11 a.m. Saturday. |
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The town field will be dedicated on Saturday to the memory of Peter A. Cook, the last Clarksburg resident to sacrifice his life for his country.
"This is the final step in making sure we get something out there to keep Pete's name alive," said Edward Denault, one of the last members of Peter A. Cook Post 9144 Veterans of Foreign Wars. "The new sign was step one, and the plaque was step 2. The actual dedication to the field will be the final step."
The VFW Post 9144 has been slowly dwindling. It sold its post home across from Town Hall a few years ago and set its sights on the field — not far from where members meet at the Senior Center — as a way to keep the memory alive.
Last fall, a large green sign proudly proclaiming it as the Pfc. Peter A. Cook Veterans Memorial Field was installed and a bronze plaque was installed on a nearby stone with the story of Cook.
The field was renamed "Veterans Field" in the 1980s although most people continued to call it Town Field. It has a basketball court, a pavilion and the Christmas tree, as well as a small bridge linking to a parking lot. The VFW for years has sponsored an egg roll at the field every Easter.
Peter Allan Cook was a graduate of McCann Technical School in North Adams and had worked at the former Sprague Electric and for a tree service. He was only 20 years old and a new husband when he was drafted and sent to Vietnam as part of the 101st Airborne Division.
He was killed in action with six of his comrades on May 7, 1970, when their position was attacked.
Members of the Richard A. Reuther Post 152 American Legion in Williamstown will provide the color guard for the event. Denault said a Massachusetts Medal of Liberty will be presented to one of Cook's family members in his honor. His sisters, nieces and nephews and former bride are expected to attend.
The dedication will be followed by a community cookout hosted by the VFW with hot dogs and hamburgers to celebrate the day.
"Everybody in town is inivted," said Denault. "Any veteran, anybody who wants to show up."