Local News

Vice President Calls Tarboro H.S. Graduates 'American Heroes'

Posted June 4, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Nine months ago, dozens of flood victims called Tarboro High School "home." Monday, the school and its graduating seniors were honored by a graduation day visit from Vice President Al Gore.

For the 136 graduates of Tarboro High School, this day has been long anticipated. But it did not feel real until they donned their purple robes and received their diplomas and congratulations from Gore.

Many of the students and their families were flooded out of their homes during Hurricane Floyd. The vice president called the seniors "American Heroes."

"After what you've been through, after what you have already overcome, there is nothing in this world you cannot overcome," said Gore.

A crowd of about 2,400 attended the graduation at the school football stadium.

"You've learned lessons that many people take a lifetime to learn and you've shown all of America that you are stronger than any obstacle put in your way," said Gore.

Ironically, rain almost became an obstacle once again, but held off as the joyful students stepped into a new world as graduates.

Gore accepted the request to speak at the graduation because he says he was impressed by the students' strength in a year of adversity brought by Hurricane Floyd's floods and the winter snow.