Edward Taylor’s lifelong dream of getting a diploma was realized Friday.
The 90-year-old dropped out of school more than 70 years ago to serve in the Navy during World War II, according to the Elmira Star-Gazette.
Taylor started working to graduate seven months ago, according to the Star-Gazette.
He initially got his honorary diploma Feb. 25, at the age of 89, during the Elmira Heights Central School District Board of Education meeting but his family arranged in secret for him to be part of the traditional commencement ceremony.
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Honorary diplomas can be awarded to veterans who were unable to complete their secondary education because they served in the military in World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War, according to Operation Recognition.
Taylor got a standing ovation when he received his diploma with the other 62 students graduating from Thomas A. Edison High School.
"I'm so happy," Taylor told the Star-Gazette. "I'm overwhelmed."