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Veterans Day Ceremony at Frederiksen Elementary School Resonates with Current and Former Students

November 11, 2015

DSC_0451DUBLIN, CA–Veterans Day continues to include a rich history and embodiment within DUSD – largely due to the efforts of Catherine Brown and Jamie Perez at Frederiksen Elementary School. Tuesday rang the bell for a ten-year continuous recognition of this very significant celebration at Fred. The relationship is significant – given the close proximity of Fred to the RFTA Camp Parks and the students that attend Frederiksen. By design, Ms. Brown and Ms. Perez have actively worked outside their scope of work to effectively structure and practice an assembly that would provide a positive impact across all five grade levels. The purpose would also educate the students as to the importance and impact of how all active and retired service members create a positive impact upon our lives.

For many students, this was an eye-opening experience. While it would be somewhat easier to read about them exploits in a textbook or online, it is a rather different opportunity to actually shake hands with a Veteran and to express a personal “Thank you for your service.” while in their company.

DSC_0442The gathered assembly heard from Colonel Jon Ellis that described the importance of this assembly. Subsequently, Major Jim Lyon discussed the impact of Flanders Fields. Following there were numerous musical performance by all students across grade levels. was fortunate to engage with a Frederiksen Elementary School graduate, Matthew Rosefield that performed “Taps” as a part of the Veterans Day Ceremony. Matthew is a current 11th grader at Dublin High School and is an active member of the DHS Irish Guard Marching Band. We reached out to him to receive his feedback on today’s events. Until your moment late in the program, you were able to simply observe the entire assembly.  We would imagine that today’s experience was vastly different than what you experienced as a 5th grader at Fred.  Please share what went through your mind during this morning’s ceremony. 

DSC_0478Matthew Rosefield: “I remember, back when I was in 5th grade, preparing for the Veterans Day assembly. It was all about learning the songs, how to sing in tune and to the beat, and, of course, why we were doing the ceremony in the first place: for the veterans. And it’s still about the veterans; that much hasn’t changed. What’s really changed is my perception of the importance of the assembly, the importance of veterans, and all soldiers. As a child, you don’t really know much about anything and that’s okay! That’s what being a child is about: learning and developing. So I imagine, for most of the elementary students there, and me at that age, as well, they understand the reason for the assembly, but not the magnitude of the reason. War is a very serious matter. Coming back to the ceremony with this knowledge really changed my perception of why we had the ceremony. I knew it was about saying ‘Thank you’ to the veterans, but now I understand the sacrifices that we say ‘Thank you’ for.” After three years of band at Wells Middle School and now into your third year with the DHS Irish Guard, please explain how participating as a musician has been an overall benefit to your school experience.

DSC_0533Rosefield: “Playing music is fun for me, it always has been. Ever since I was a toddler, I would run rampant around the house, flailing my arms wildly about, honking away at a toy accordion. So, in fourth grade, when I was offered to play an instrument in the school band, I signed up right away and was given a trumpet mouthpiece to make noise on. I had no idea that signing a little slip of paper in fourth grade would have such a profound effect on my life in the following seven years, but that’s life, I suppose! Fast-forward to today and I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not learned ‘When The Saints Go Marching In”‘on my tarnished trumpet in fifth grade. I’ve made so many friends through the band program, learned an entirely new language (believe me, sheet music is a language unto itself). And don’t get me started on the dialects and I have been given so many opportunities to travel and discover the world around me. n fact, the DHS band will be traveling to Ireland to play in Bray for the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. That’s an experience not many other groups on campus can offer. Being a musician gives you the ability to share the love of music with most everyone.”

DSC_0432So, there you have the perspective of a student/musician that had the rare opportunity to return to his elementary school this morning and to contribute to a site-wide assembly. Further, Mr. Rosefield is turning his focus towards a much larger initiative that will benefit his classmates in Bray, Ireland. felt fortunate to witness this one of a kind event at Frederiksen Elementary this morning. We credit both Ms. Catherine Brown and Ms. Jamie Perez for their incredible efforts to cobble this event together. The school site, its students, parents and staff are the benefactors. Thank you for all that you do – in this case – for the past ten years.

  1. Catherine Brown permalink
    November 11, 2015 7:40 am

    Thank you for a wonderful article. Jamie and I never imagined ten years ago that it would grow to be such a treasured part of the fabric of our school. It is one of the many things that make The entire staff Is behind this event as is Camp Parks, the VFW Post 6298 and the American Legion Post 237. Please remember to say thank you to the people who have served or are serving our country.

    • Michael Utsumi permalink
      November 11, 2015 8:47 pm

      Thank you, Catherine for sharing your thoughts. Strangely, we do not receive much feedback on our content. This is why we truly appreciate your comments relative to the profile published on Frederiksen Elementary School and specifically to the profile on Mr. Rosefield and the Veterans Day Ceremony. It was a wonderful occasion!

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