PLAINFIELD, NJ - A special assembly was held at Plainfield's Frederic W. Cook School to commemorate the service of U.S. Veterans, and to present Certificates of Appreciation to family members. The presentation included a “Thank You” from all of the children at the school.

“This is the tenth year Cook School celebrates Veterans Day with a special program,” said Principal Dr. Caryn D. Cooper.  "Family members received Certificates of Appreciation to take back home to them and some members, including educators, were present to receive them.”

Below is a list of the Veterans honored, and the children and family members who accepted certificates on their behalf. 

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  1. Ron Breidenstein - Navy / award accepted by cousin Jennifer Sowden - Cook School 
  2. Walt Sowden - Air Force / award accepted by daughter Jennifer Bowden - Cook School
  3. John Sowden - Army / award accepted by niece Jennifer Sowden- Cook School
  4. Troy Pittman - Air Force / Pittman was present and is the husband of Chanice Pittman Sears - Evergreen School and son-in-law of Berenice Sears - Cook School
  5. Fatima Tareen - Air Force / award accepted by niece Sophia Sanchez
  6. Dr. Craig R. Jackson - Army / Jackson was present to receive the certificate. He is the husband of Shelia Jackson - Cook School 
  7. Edom J. Marshall - Army / award was accepted by niece Mariah James
  8. Monique Ward - Army / award accepted by sons Makai Evans and Naeem award
  9. Virginia Christmas - Army / Christmas was present, 4th Grade Literacy Teacher – Cook School

Christmas, who served in the U.S. Army from 1975-78, said the assembly was wonderful, and “it recognized and honored the Veterans. And, it is my privilege and honor to have been a part of this celebration honoring Veterans. Thank you.”

Students read descriptions of all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and sang the songs and hymns for each branch.  Music Instructor Dr. Domecq Smith accompanied the children on piano and closed the program by playing Taps.


Frederic W. Cook School serves approximately 367 children in grades K-5th.  For more information, call 908-731-4333 or email