While we were having lunch together in August, Julie Hanmer asked if I’d seen what had been done at the football field at the Greensburg Community High School.
I hadn’t, so she took me there to see it close up. There was a beautiful sign that spelled out “Shriver Field.” Wow! What an uplifting moment. There were some students there and Julie asked them, “Do you know why the name Shriver is up there?” They did not. This is to tell them, and anyone else who doesn’t know, what the name Shriver means to many people in this community where the family lived.
Some will remember that the old football field (dedicated Friday, Sept. 24, 1949) was named Shriver Field. At that time it was the new and modern home of the Greensburg Pirates football teams. The name was to honor two brothers, World War II veterans Paul S. and Jack G. Shriver. Both were killed during that war - just nine months apart. Their parents, John T. and Ruth Sanders Shriver, had the two sons and four daughters. One daughter, Helen, died as a baby, Argel, Dorothy and Virginia who married Gilman Stewart. Virginia also served during World War II in the U.S. Marine Corps, W. R.
Paul Sanders “Petie” Shriver was killed off the coast of Australia the day after Christmas in 1942. A tail gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber, he was 29 years old. He was a 1932 graduate of Greensburg High School. Although he was killed Dec. 26, 1942, his family in Greensburg got only rumors that he had been killed in an air battle somewhere in the South Pacific. The first notice was a letter that had been addressed to him and was returned with a notation “Killed in action.” Still people didn’t believe until it was verified by the government Feb. 1, 1943. His last word to his family was a Christmas cablegram stating that he was well and getting along fine. The cablegram didn’t arrive in Greensburg until Jan. 9, 1943. Before being inducted into military service March 31, 1942, Petie served as director of the physical department of the Greensburg Y.M.C.A.