Emily Tuck honoured during 2020 high school graduation ceremony
HALIFAX -- The 2020 high school graduation class in Colchester County, N.S. transformed an empty field into a drive-thru graduation on Friday.
More than 350 graduates attended the non-traditional graduation ceremony in Upper Onslow, N.S.
"This is one of the biggest celebrations in Canada, I believe, so I think this will be one for the books," said graduating student, Eryn Lorraine.
For many of the students, Friday marked more than a milestone of graduation. It was also a gathering of support for a class affected by the tragic mass shooting in Nova Scotia in April.
"I was pretty excited when they announced that we could do it," said graduation student Amielia McLeod. "And now the day is actually here, and here we go."
The day's events were bittersweet for McLeod. Her father, Sean McLeod, and step-mother, Alanna Jenkins, were killed in the mass shooting.
"But I know that they will still be watching in their own way. I'm glad I get to do it, and I'm glad everybody else gets to see me do it," said McLeod.
"Words can't describe how happy I am, because she's my best friend and there's no one I'd rather be here with," said Lorraine, a friend and fellow classmate of McLeod's.
Friday would have also marked a special day for Nova Scotia shooting victim Emily Tuck who was a member of the graduating class.
Tuck was honoured during the ceremony with a special video tribute that played when she would have gone on stage.
"It's nice that she's still being honoured on this day, as well. It's her day too, so it’s nice," said McLeod.
"It's beautiful weather and for a beautiful class of graduates, so what could you ask for anymore," said Jim Lorraine, who organized Friday's graduation ceremony.
Organizers of the ceremony say it was wonderful to watch their community come together, allowing the 2020 graduating students to come together.
"It's gratifying to see the community sponsorship, both financial, services, time, product, you name it. They were there for these grads," said Jim Lorraine.
For Friday's graduating class, it's a day that will be sure to stay with the graduating class for a lifetime.