As more than 200 Moss Point High School students walked across the field with their eyes toward a promising future, three Korean War veterans sat among the class of 2004, taking in the sights and sounds of graduation day - a day they missed more than 50 years ago.
"I felt it was my duty to the country and I was a young man and eager to go and you know how young people are, they're gung ho. I was just proud to serve my country," said Charles Ehlers.
In the early fifties, Edmond Lynn, Charles Ehlers, and Marvin Cunningham, Sr., decided to forego their education at Moss Point High and join the military.
Each of them wanted to finish their educations, but after more than four years of military service, marriage and raising families put each of their dreams on hold.
"My heart has always been here at Moss Point, and that was one of the things that was void in me was that I didn't have my diploma," said Marvin Cunningham, Sr.
Until Friday evening.
They each received an honorary high school diploma.
"This is an opportunity for Moss Point High School and the entire district to let these gentlemen know that we appreciate the sacrifices that they gave to our country for its freedom, and it's time for them to be honored such that they are given the diploma that they could have earned many years back," said Moss Point School District superintendent Dr. Tressie Harper.
"It's more important really for my kids than it is for myself. All my kids had a high school education. they all graduated from Moss Point," said Edmond Lynn.
"I have always wanted it. My family's got it. my children, and I wanted it too. This is a great day," said Ehlers.
Even though they have each received awards and honors for their service to this country, this diploma means more than words can say.
"My heart is full. My heart is full," said Cunningham.
Charles Ehlers served in the Marine Corps, while Edmond Lynn and Marvin Cunningham,Sr. served in the U.S. Navy.
Congratulations to the new graduates.