The Valedictorian of Cole High School on Ft. Sam Houston won't be on hand for tonight's graduation ceremony.
Elise Miller will deliver her graduation address to the class anyway, from Normandy, where she is attending the 70th anniversary of D Day and performing with the Texas Children's Choir.
Miller says for a class filled with boys and girls from Army families, it was an easy decision to attend the D Day commemoration, and she will use the occasion to help her fellow graduates understand the importance of history.
"I'm speaking on what is our role as this new generation, and what are some of the places we can go from here, and how to we lead the next generation," she told 1200 WOAI's Stephanie Narvaez.
The Texas Children's Choir and the UTSA Spirit of San Antonio band are performing at the D Day ceremonies, in front of President Obama and many other world leaders.
She points out that Lt. Col. Robert G. Cole, who the high school is named for, parachuted into Normandy with the 101st Airborne on June 6, 1944, and led his unit to victory at Carentan with a bayonet charge, which was very rate in World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Allied invasion of France. He was killed by a German sniper a the Battle of Market Garden in September of 1944.
"The namesake of my school was present at that, I am able to help honor him by participating in the 70th anniversary," Elise said.
She says the speech has been recorded and will be delivered to Cole to be played at graduation, so she can perform at the D Day ceremonies.