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Richard Gomez smiles after receieving his diploma Friday at Ramstein High School's graduation. Gomez was one of 203 seniors to graduate Friday at Kaiserslautern's Barbarossahalle in Germany.
Richard Gomez smiles after receieving his diploma Friday at Ramstein High School's graduation. Gomez was one of 203 seniors to graduate Friday at Kaiserslautern's Barbarossahalle in Germany. (Lisa Horn / S&S)
Richard Gomez smiles after receieving his diploma Friday at Ramstein High School's graduation. Gomez was one of 203 seniors to graduate Friday at Kaiserslautern's Barbarossahalle in Germany.
Richard Gomez smiles after receieving his diploma Friday at Ramstein High School's graduation. Gomez was one of 203 seniors to graduate Friday at Kaiserslautern's Barbarossahalle in Germany. (Lisa Horn / S&S)
Ramstein High School graduates Kelly Kanapaux, left, and Anne Marie Marchand, right, embrace after graduation Friday at Kaiserslautern's Barbarossahalle in Germany.
Ramstein High School graduates Kelly Kanapaux, left, and Anne Marie Marchand, right, embrace after graduation Friday at Kaiserslautern's Barbarossahalle in Germany. (Lisa Horn / S&S)
Ramstein High School seniors smile as their fellow classmates enter the Barbarossahalle Friday in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Across town, 90 seniors received their diplomas from Kaiserslautern High School.
Ramstein High School seniors smile as their fellow classmates enter the Barbarossahalle Friday in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Across town, 90 seniors received their diplomas from Kaiserslautern High School. (Lisa Horn / S&S)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — As the Ramstein class of 2004 assembled one last time in front of family and friends, it was hard not to notice the nervous grins that danced on their faces.

Ramstein American High School conferred diplomas to 203 seniors Friday at Kaiserslautern’s Barbarossahalle. Across town, Kaiserslautern High School honored its 90 seniors.

In her welcome address, Ramstein senior class president Adina Mead relaxed her classmates and the audience with some light-hearted questions and a few serious ones.

“Who had traveled from the U.S. for the occasion?” Mead asked. “Who out there are graduates of Ramstein High School?”

And to the seniors she said, “Those of you who have a dream and are waiting to fulfill it, please stand up.”

The 203 seniors stood in silent affirmation.

Ramstein was the only high school on an Air Force base to broadcast its graduation ceremony via Web cam to deployed family members, according to Frank O’Gara, spokesman for Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe.

Six of Ramstein’s graduates had family members deployed. A flag pin and yellow ribbon on each of their gowns told the cameraman who to zoom in on as each senior crossed the stage and waved to their deployed mother, father or uncle. Two fathers, able to return in time for their children’s graduations, were asked to stand and a round of applause ensued.

As he received his diploma, Andrew Powell fought hard to hold back the tears.

“I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry,” he said aloud as he tried to make his way back to his seat, juggling flowers, a gift and diploma.

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