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After a tornado warning & 50 years, an Oklahoma high school class graduates


After a tornado warning & 50 years, an Oklahoma high school class graduates

Members of the high school graduating class of 1974 in Moore, Oklahoma, had taken their seats in the football stadium under darkening skies. The class president welcomed the crowd. Then the principal, looking out at the clouds, declared all the students graduates and told those in attendance to find shelter immediately. “The sky turned pea green, horrible clouds rolled in, and sirens started going off,” said Nuala Murray South, one of the graduates.Sterling Crim, another graduate, grabbed the hand of his girlfriend and dragged her under the bleachers next to the brick wall of a concession stand. The tornado never materialised. But the day – and the rite – were ruined.
They unceremoniously picked up their diplomas from the high school later. But long after going off to college, starting careers and families, many harboured a hope that they would eventually cross the stage.
South, Crim and about 200 of their fellow classmates or relatives of those who died got a commencement redo Saturday.
The desire for a commencement ceremony had become a running theme at alumni reunions for the Moore High School class of 1974. The former classmates debated the idea on social media. Finally, last year, a former student, Mike Wilson, who works as a sports announcer at the school, broached the school administration with the idea of a commencement timed with the class’s 50th reunion. “The older you get, you just look back and think you’ve missed out on something,” Wilson said, adding that the administration was quick to offer a full ceremony in the high school auditorium, complete with a processional to the music of Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” march and crossing the stage for their diplomas.





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