MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A 91-year-old man finally has his high school diploma, after family members surprised him with a graduation ceremony.
Salvatore Bologna, a New York native who now lives in Melbourne, Florida, says he was drafted during World War II, a few months before he was supposed to graduate high school in 1945.
“I said, ‘Where’s my high school diploma?” They said ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get an honorary diploma,’”
Bologna explained. But he says that never happened. Still, he was able to land a job with the NYPD and continue a life of service.
“For the past 20 years, every time we’ve come to see our grandparents, we’ve heard these NYPD and military stories. And the story about how he never got his diploma,” said Aleks Bologna, Savatore’s grandson.
So Aleks and his sister Cathryn got to work with the help of Congressman Bill Posey’s office.
“We contacted Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, New York and low and behold they were able to provide a high school diploma as if he just graduated this past June,” said Rob Medina, director of community and military relations for Rep. Posey.
Bologna was happy to put on the graduation gear at his party Sunday.
“To see him say, ‘Finally!’ It of course brought tears to all of our eyes,” said granddaughter Cathryn.
After all, it’s an accomplishment more than 70 years in the making.
“Unbelievable. I can’t thank them enough for what they have done,” Salvatore Bologna said.