In 1945, World War II Veteran Ed Kinslow missed his high school graduation because he was busy flying for the Air Force. At age 94, he is finally getting the chance to walk across the stage on graduation day.
Kinslow said many of his classmates at the all-boys Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia also missed the graduation ceremony because they were serving in World War II. When he walks across the stage on Friday, Kinslow will represent his peers who did not return from fighting overseas.
“I was only one of thousands of men, served in the service and action and everything during the war," Kinslow said. "Thousands and thousands were killed, never came back. A lot of my friends never came back.”
Despite missing the ceremony, Kinslow still received his diploma and class ring, which he wears every day. For years, he's talked about how much he regretted missing the opportunity to walk at graduation and celebrate the important rite of passage.
“He cherished those days at Roman and for him not to be at his graduation was sort of like a missed part of his life,” Dennis Kinslow, Ed Kinslow's son, said.
Ed Kinslow will symbolically walk across the stage at the graduation ceremony for the Roman Catholic High School Class of 2021.
“I hope they realize that that is such a privilege and an honor — and you just can’t take that for granted," Lorraine Kinslow, Ed Winslow's daughter-in-law, said.
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"And to wait all these years later and have it happen, I just hope those students feel the impact of the service that these men of that generation gave so that we can graduate and be free.”