York City vet earns diploma seven decades later

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

At the start of a York City school board meeting Wednesday, Dec. 20, one attendee was surprised when his name was being mentioned by the board president.

Cleo Clifford Carr, Jr. receives his diploma from York City school board president Margie Orr on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.

“Be it resolved that the Board of School Directors approve the graduate certificate to Cleo Clifford Carr Jr. in accordance with the guidelines of Veterans Act 73," York City school board president Margie Orr said.

Soon, applause filled the boardroom along with a standing ovation as Carr was assisted to the center of the room with Orr and district administration officials.

“Man, I waited (since 19)44 to get this,” he said, adding “I never thought I would get this.”

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A state law passed in 1949 allows school boards to award high school diplomas to veterans honorably discharged after serving in World War II.

Carr thanked the board and the district for awarding him his diploma. He said he only had two credits left to graduate before he was drafted during World War II. He served with Gen. George S. Patton in Germany.

“This made my heart beat fast,” he said when handed a microphone by Assistant Superintendent Andrea Berry. “That’s no good for my heart.”

Even when he was sitting down, he kept asking if the diploma really was for him.

"Every once in a while, we get to do things that are really, really special, and it was our pleasure to do that for you tonight," Berry said to Carr.

— Reach education reporter Junior Gonzalez at jgonzalez@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter @EducationYD.