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90-year-old veteran strolls at Elmira Heights college graduation

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Edward Taylor finally got the opportunity he missed out on when he left of school: stroll at graduation. He didn't leave high school due to bad grades or lethargy, rather he left the Elmira Heights school district to serve in the Navy throughout World War II. He simply never returned to further his education.

However, that life-long imagine strolling across the phase and getting a diploma was satisfied Friday night as the 90-year-old Elmira Heights guy participated and walked in Thomas A. Edison High School beginning.

" I'm so pleased," Taylor stated as he became emotional. "I'm overwhelmed."

The man of few words mixed in with the teenagers worn white or blue gowns, but his worn skin and slower speed set him apart. Whenever Taylor was acknowledged throughout the event, the capacity cheered and praised, and provided the veteran a standing ovation when he received his diploma.

The hour-long college graduation event where 62 students finished was filled with traditions - from the award event, to the speeches and singing the alma mater, and complementing the occasion with the seniors tossing their caps near the flagpole. The speeches were delivered by valedictorian Michael Beach, salutatorian Leena Trinh and honor student Keith Smith.

Taylor's journey to Friday's graduation was a project that began about 7 months back.

Taylor at first got his diploma in February at the age of 89, more than 70 years after he took his last class. Taylor's family set up a ceremony and kept it quiet up until the days leading up to the Feb. 25 Elmira Heights Central School District Board of Education meeting where high school principal Thomas Boyanowski handed Taylor the honorary diploma throughout a small ceremony.

According to state department of education law, honorary diplomas might be provided to veterans who served in World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War and who were unable to finish a secondary education because they delegated join the military. Diplomas are granted based upon knowledge and experience acquired while in service, the law states, through Operation Recognition

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