Parents receive late children's diplomas with heavy hearts: 'I wanted to see them walk'
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
Just as many schools celebrate graduation, Parker High School seniors took their steps across the stage. But not everyone in the Thundering Herd made it across.
ABC 33/40 captured the tough moment for classmates and parents.
For three teens who were supposed to walk across stage, diploma-in-hand, their parents are the ones honored with their achievements.
Their parents carried the loss of their children with them Tuesday night.
Tears of sadness flowed down their cheeks as the names were called on stage. Then another tough moment welled as they walked up to receive their children's diplomas.
After the graduation was over, ABC 33/40 spoke to them about not seeing their boys in those purple and white cap and gowns.
Michael Davis' mother Jeanetta Davis says the emotion poured out because she had been looking forward to this night since her son was a little boy. Davis says, "My son...should have been walking today. You know what I am saying?"
Jerome Lang felt the same way as Jeanetta. "Exactly, same thing I say. I wanted to see them walk across that stage," Lang explains.
As part of the ceremony, students remembered their late classmates in songs and speeches at the podium.
The boys' parents say they were touched by the class' tribute to their children.
"It's just hard, you know, when I wake up and go in his room. You know he is going to be missed," Davis says.
Lang says, "It help(s) a lot you know? It just feels good to know you have somebody who has your back."
The parents say they are also grateful for the community that's surrounded them with support, as they continue to grieve over the three young lives that will never know life after graduation.