Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our Oldest Graduate

There was one event at Miss Whimsy's graduation that I left intentionally unmentioned in my graduation yakabout the other day.  I left it out because it deserved a post all of its own.

And here it is...

It is the story of our oldest graduate.

After all of the speeches were made and all of the graduates made their memorable strolls across the grass, the principal settled the crowd for one final comment. It was the introduction of a most worthy graduate, an 86 year old World War II veteran who had missed his own high school graduation in 1943 to become a gunner for the Mighty 8th Air Force in the Great War. 

You could have heard a pin drop in the usually rowdy crowd as the principal told of his 32 missions on the B-24, one of which taking place on the night that he would have walked the field with his own classmates... all those many yeas ago.

The man had promised his mother that one day he would go back and get his high school diploma, but time and family and life had gotten in the way. Thanks to the Georgia Legislature, a recent law makes it possible to award high school diplomas to veterans who were inducted to serve during times of war before finishing their high school careers.

Twice during the principal's address, the audience rose to our feet in grateful applause. His mother did not live to see it, but his wife and children and grandchildren and great- grandchildren did.

God bless you, Mr. Livingston.
And, thank you for your sacrifice.

Join me for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.


Jennie said...

This is the greatest story ever! I am SO glad you saved this for a post of its own. How very well deserving! You brought a tear of gratitude to my eye this morning. My own grandfather would have been 91 this year, and he went to serve almost straight out of high school. He didn't miss his graduation (and I cannot even fathom what the mothers of those brave boys were thinking and feeling seeing their high schoolers leave to fight in a war!), but he was still so young. He will forever hold a special place in my heart as one of the bravest, most special men I've ever known. Thank you for reminding us all about the Greatest Generation!

Leslie, the Home Maker said...

This reminds me of the parable of the grace that God gives to even the last of those that are working in His vineyard.
The last workers receive the same payment as those that have been working for a long time.
What a beautiful story you shared! I love it!
Yes, God Bless Mr. Livingston!

Gayle said...

What a sweet and moving story!

Kelli said...

What a powerful story!! Even more you were blessed to witness this event!! Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration!!

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hello Debbie! What a WONDERFUL story...it brought tears to my eyes. Imagine after all those years he finally graduated. How lucky you were to be there in person to see this and what a wonderful example this gentleman has made for those who think they can't graduate. Thank you for stopping by my blog today...I'm glad you liked the post on the stone walls...it's good to know I'm not the only one! I hope you have a WONDERFUL day....take care...Maura :)

imoomie said...

What a hero! A great example and testimony about honor.

Thanks for sharing this story.

Manuela@TPOH said...

Oh my gosh...I would have been so overcome with emotion for him I know I would have cried!
What a great story and what a wonderful example he is!


LDH said...

What an endearing story. A tribute well deserved as a recognition to this mans service to our country!

Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving your comment. I have enjoyed perusing several of your posts!

Kindly, ldh

Amanda said...

There is a 96 (I think) year old lady who has graduated college in a near by town (of my home). These are moving stories!


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