Uvalde high school graduating class remembers children killed

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Nearly 300 high school students graduated Friday in Uvalde in the shadow of the massacre of 19 elementary school students and two children 5 and a half weeks earlier.

Uvalde High School seniors in red robes sat in 100-degree heat at the school stadium with 21 “Uvalde Strong” signs displayed in front of their ranks as school and student leaders spoke.

Uvalde School Superintendent Hal Harrell and School Principal Randy Harris praised students for their strength and resilience during three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, three principal changes, and then the shooting May 14 mass at Robb Elementary School in the South Texas town.

“Love the people in your life while you have them because you don’t know what the future holds for anyone,” Class Maj. Abigail Kone said in her speech.

“Our community has definitely learned the unexpected. Something happened that should never have happened. Our lives have been changed. But we still stand together as a community,” she said.

After reading the names of the 19 children and teachers killed, Kone said, “These relatives of the families were taken too soon. They won’t have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams or see their families grow.

“So tonight I would like to include these kids from Robb Elementary as honorary family members of the class of 2022,” she said to prolonged applause.

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