CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- The Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific and Humphreys High School recently celebrated and honored graduating seniors here with a reverse parade and a graduation ceremony.
More than 250 vehicles from the Humphreys community joined in a reverse parade, June 3, to show their support for the graduating seniors. While the seniors stood by their decorated light poles, the community drove by waving and shouting to congratulate them on their achievement.
U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Commander Col. Michael Tremblay led the vehicles in a fire truck. From his position, on the ladder, he saw the overwhelming turnout from the community.
“I am very proud of the Humphreys community,” Tremblay said. “Even though this is a break from tradition, they rallied together to give the seniors a memorable sendoff.”
The following day, inside Collier Community Fitness Center, the seniors graduated.
With a limited guest list, mandatory social distancing, and the wearing of masks enforced, the school’s faculty and garrison support staff collaborated to give the 142 members of the class of 2020 an in-person ceremony.
Tremblay was the keynote speaker. He stressed the importance of being resilient in the face of adversity, and disciplined in the pursuit of one’s goal.
“I’m super proud to be a part of your big day,” Tremblay said. “No one can ever say you have not been phenomenally resilient, agile, flexible, and adaptable. You will look at the challenges and opportunities that you face moving forward with an ‘I can do anything’ attitude, because you have already been there.”
Before the seniors walked across the stage, they presented a rose to their parents to show appreciation for their love and support. Their parents were surprised by the simple gesture, but also grateful to be acknowledged by their children.
“I have mixed emotions today,” said Lilian Anguino, mother of Matthew Nevarez. “I will miss him, but I am so excited for him. He has many great things coming his way.”
Other parents in the audience shared the same sentiment.
“To the countless military partners and agencies who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make our graduation day a special one,” said Erin Grazak, the HHS principal, “Thank you.”