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Students From Flooded Schools Help Celebrate WRAL Tower Lighting

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RALEIGH — WRAL carried on its annual tradition Wednesday night with thelighting of its 300-foot tower, and the celebration was accompanied by some very special voices.

Choirs from Phillips Magnet School, Martin Middle School, South Edgecombe Middle and West Edgecombe Middle also came by to help ring in the holidays by singing some season favorites.

They sung songs of joy even though each one of them has suffered through some tough times.

School is about the only thing that does continue as normal for many of the students of Martin Middle School in Tarboro. They still see daily reminders that life is different after the flood.

"I was staying at my grandmother's house when my own trailer got flooded," said student Andrea Battle.

Some cannot return to their old homes yet. Many of their friends are scattered around and are living with relatives or are in other temporary facilities.

School is a welcomed break from those concerns, but some still cannot help thinking about what happens after the last bell sounds.

"I knew when I went to school and when I got out of school that things weren't going to be the same. The places I walked to and the places I go will not be there anymore," said student Shawanda Pettaway.

Christmas will bring even more reminders of how life is different after the flood.

"I had an old Christmas ornament that I made when I was in kindergarten that I kept always, all the years through. I lost that, and that was a very special part of me," said another student.

However, the flood did not take everything. They have their lives, their family and their friends. And, the group of students still have the will to lift up their voices in song.

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Rick Armstrong, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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