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As I walk through the neighborhood, I often walk past the Matt Williams baseball field at Edison Junior High School in Rock Island and it always brings a smile of sadness to me.

I always remember Matt as a friend of my son David. They played on a couple of teams together. I remember Matt as a blond-headed fierce competitor on the diamond but polite to adults.

Matt attended a couple of birthday parties at the house and they would play football on the small field by the house. Oh, how I miss the laughter of innocence.

It's been 25 years or so since Matt left us as a child. I watch my son grow up and my heart aches  for Matt and family.

I wanted to thank those who kept his name on the field even after all these years.

I also wanted to tell his mom, Sherrie, that I think of Matt often.

His mom was also a classmate of ours from Moline High Class of 1977. The heartache of her tragedy should never be felt by a parent.

In these changing times, thank you for honoring our past with the Matt Williams field. I appreciate it.

David A. Nipper,

Rock Island

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