Three friends who dropped out of Lincoln High School in Los Angeles to serve in World War II have waited seven decades for the moment they could finally call themselves graduates. The emotional ceremony marked another shared milestone for lifelong pals Julian Lopez, Tony Romero and Lupe Malacate. http://4.nbcla.com/ehshErP
Posted by NBC LA on Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Credit: NBC LA / Facebook
You are never too old to finish what you started!
Three besties are finally graduating high school… after 71 years! Julian Lopez, 90, Tony Romero, 88, and Lupe Malacate, 89, are all World War II veterans that had to abandon their dreams of becoming high school graduates when they were drafted for the war in 1944. Before being deployed for the war, Julian Lopez married his high school sweetheart, Henrietta. She too had to drop out of school — in those days, you were not allowed to be married and in school at the same time. Connie Miranda, the daughter of Julian and Henrietta, talked to the Los Angeles Unified School District to allow the three friends, along with Henrietta, to graduate.
“I believe that anybody who served their country is entitled to all the benefits,” Miranda told NBC LA. “I think I might cry when I see them walk across the stage to get their diplomas.”
Now, after more than 70 years and a year and half spent in talks with the LAUSD, all four seniors (pun fully intended 😂) have walked across the stage at Abraham Lincoln High School. It goes to show you that you are never too old to go for your dreams. But, why graduate now?
“So we can go to college,” Julian told NBC LA while laughing. “I’m looking for a job!”