Victory Field originally opened in 1922 to honor the men who fought in World War I and it became the focus of sports programs in town. The complex served as home to football and baseball teams from town, but with the new artificial turf installed last year the field now will be home to many more teams.
On Sunday, Sept. 9, the field will be rededicated with a ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. In addition, the town will hold its 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony.
"The dedication of Victory Field was held Memorial Day Weekend in 1922, so we are celebrateing 90 years," said Recreation Director Peter Centola.
Along with the new artificial turf field, the field got a new entrance plaza, new lights and scoreboards were installed and a new set of baseball stands was built.
The field now will be home to the Watertown High School soccer, field hockey and lacrosse teams, as well as the football and baseball teams.
Along with the rededication, the town will commemorate Sept. 11, 2001 with an observance of the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Over the past few years, the remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001 was held in Saltonstall Park, next to Town Hall, where flags of the military services fly. This year, however, the ceremony will move to Victory Field.
Watertown Veterans organizations will attend the ceremony and Watertown Veterans Agent Gina Rada will say some words. She will also unveil , which is run by the Recreation Department.
The First Dedication
The gathering at the original dedication was said to be the largest gathering in town ever, according to a story in the Watertown Tribune-Enterprise on June 2, 1922. The ceremony was presided over by Selectman Chairman John A. Collins and the guest speaker was Congressman Louis A. Frothingham.
Five years later, in November 1927, a cannon captured from the Germans during World War I was placed at the field. It has moved around over the years, Centola said.
"Way back when, it was over here (near the baseball field)," Centola said. "Then it was no where – it was in the DPW yard for an extended period of time. In the early 1990s (the town) redid the football stands and the put the cannon out."
It sat in the corner of the field on the far side from the home stands and near Orchard Street. The cannon has a new home after the renovations, sitting next to the main driveway and behind the football stands.
Plaques and Bricks
The town looked to defray the cost of the renovation through fundraising efforts, including selling bricks in the new entryway to Victory Field. The .
Plaques for those who have donated $1,000 or more have been placed on a wall over the bricks.