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South Bend seniors enlisting in military get special graduation send-off

NOW: South Bend seniors enlisting in military get special graduation send-off

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Dozens of seniors from each South Bend high school got their chance to walk across the graduation stage Sunday for a special ceremony at Howard Park honoring those who will soon leave for the armed forces.

“I was just nervous going across,” graduating Clay High School senior Anthony Williams said.
“A lot of pictures, yeah. But now I’m happy I got my diploma.”

It wasn’t ideal circumstance; no handshakes, and plenty of masks.

“We certainly hope next year we’re back to normal, but I’m really grateful to the governor’s office and the department of health for helping us with all of our protocols to be able to do today,” South Bend Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings said.

To district officials, today was all about honoring the students in the middle of life-altering changes, from a pandemic to putting on uniforms.

“And what better than to have it here on this nice sunny day, than out here at Howard Park?” SBCSC board member Leslie Wesley said.
“Especially in this particular section, where the memorial for the Vietnam War is. We know it will never be able to replace the traditional (graduations), where they graduate with all their peers, but we wanted to make sure that we let them know that we really honor and value them.”

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