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BELEN — A World War II veteran in New Mexico has gotten his high school diploma — 71 years after he was drafted and left school.
Officials said 90-year-old Belen resident Luis Silva earned the credits to graduate before the war, but never went to graduation or picked up his degree.
Silva, who landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day, dreamt of going back to school and getting his diploma but never got around to it, KRQE-TV reported.
After the war, Silva returned to Belen, got married, raised four children and proudly watched as his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren graduated high school.
Belen High School Principal Rodney Wright was happy to make the dream come true.
“It was a huge honor,” Wright told The Associated Press on Thursday. “To see a gentleman like that — what he sacrificed and where he went and what he did for our country — was even great for our kids too, to share in that moment. It was a magical opportunity for us.”
Silva’s great-granddaughter also graduated with him Tuesday night.