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World War II vet typifies the can-do spirit of the Greatest Generation

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Today, as we remember the 66th anniversary of D-Day, we are reminded of the strong will and determination of the people who have helped lead, serve and protect our country.

James Livingston marched to war in 1942 during World War II. Last week, at age 86, he marched as a graduate with the Screven County High School Class of 2010.  MORRIS NEWS SERVICE/FILE
MORRIS NEWS SERVICE/FILE
James Livingston marched to war in 1942 during World War II. Last week, at age 86, he marched as a graduate with the Screven County High School Class of 2010.

James Livingston is one of these outstanding examples.

He served in World War II after enlisting while underage. His parents let him enlist on one condition: Come back from the war and earn your high school diploma.

Mr. Livingston marched to war in 1942. As an 86-year-old veteran, the former Eighth Air Force spare gunner marched with the Class of 2010 at the Screven County High School commencement ceremony last week. He stood alongside budding high school graduates as living proof to them and the rest of this country that any goal can be reached with raw determination.

"It has taken a couple of years to get it. I've been busy," he said. "Through the years, I have thought to myself: 'You promised your Momma you would get your diploma,' but I hadn't."

Mr. Livingston is an inspiring example of the kind of uncompromising perseverance that has propelled our nation. He stands as an inspiration to anyone with a daunting task to accomplish.

The same people who helped win World War II -- people like Mr. Livingston -- continue to win victories for themselves today, and to be role models for so many others.

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johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 06/06/10 - 05:37 am
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I must admit to being

I must admit to being confused about what example Mr. Livingston set with his much delayed graduation. I'm glad he finally accomplished one of his goals, but how does getting a high school education in the final days of his life help him? Isn't the high school education an initial foundational block to build on the rest of your life? Couldn't his accomplishment be interpreted as "don't worry about high school until late in life"? Is this the message we wish to send our children?

NewHere
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NewHere 06/06/10 - 06:14 am
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The example is that is never

The example is that is never to late.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 06/06/10 - 06:47 am
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Too late for what?

Too late for what?

NewHere
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NewHere 06/06/10 - 08:16 am
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To get an education! To

To get an education! To learn!

fd1962
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fd1962 06/06/10 - 09:31 am
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Nice job, Cliffy, of padding
Unpublished

Nice job, Cliffy, of padding your resume for an appointment to the Death Panel. You are a natural.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 06/06/10 - 12:45 pm
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wrong fd, I'm conservative.

wrong fd, I'm conservative. The death panel is strictly a socialist idea.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 06/06/10 - 12:53 pm
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When an 86 year old man

When an 86 year old man finally gets his high school education it's a novelty. He has missed one of the initial building blocks of his life and made do without it. It's not the completing of the qualification for a diploma that is the goal of high school, it's gaining the necessary education to build on, as well as completing a task, that marks the value of the diploma. [Rote quotes and learning carry no understanding with them.] I hope this clears the confusion I seem to have caused some of you.

corgimom
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corgimom 06/06/10 - 06:53 pm
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Cliff, if you don't

Cliff, if you don't understand the importance of a man keeping their promises, I truly don't know what to tell you. He promised his mother. He is keeping his word.

I'm not confused in the slightest. I say he's a fine man.

My mother got her diploma in 1974- when she was 49. I guess by your standards, she shouldn't have done it. It wasn't a novelty, it was that you are never too old to be educated, and something that she wanted to accomplish in her life.

Many people, after they drop out of high school, regret their decision later in life and want to be educated. And they have that right.

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