It was a long time in coming, but two men -- ages 96 and 88 -- tonight received high school diplomas from Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Nicholas Druga, 96, attended Allderdice High School as a seventh grader and transferred to Connelly Trade School for carpentry when he was in the 10th grade. He was unable to graduate in 1936 because the Great Saint Patrick's Day Flood closed the schools and postponed the commencement ceremony. He didn't return when it reopened because he had gotten a job. Six years later, he enlisted in the Army and served at Normandy.
Paul Goettler, 88, attended Carrick High School, but in 1943, when he expected to graduate, he joined the Army, serving in the 88th Infantry Division stationed in Italy. Operation Recognition permits school districts to award diplomas to any honorably discharged veteran who served in the U.S. military during World War II, Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War.
Correction, posted July 2, 2013: In an earlier version of this story Nicholas Druga's last name was misspelled.
Education writer Eleanor Chute: email@example.com or 412-263-1955.