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WWII vet graduates from high school 71 years later

Thursday - 5/22/2014, 9:40pm  ET

BELEN, N.M. (AP) -- 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.

This year, 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.


Information from: KRQE-TV,

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