Nelson Co., VA-There was standing room only at Nelson County High School Saturday morning for graduation. Family and friends packed the stands filled with joy, but it was an emotional day for the family of Alexis Murphy.
They attended the ceremony to pick up their daughter's diploma. The student body also took the opportunity to show their support for the family of Alexis Murphy, one final time.
It was a picture perfect day for graduation at Nelson County High School. It's a day that high school students dream about. For the family of Alexis Murphy, it's a bittersweet day that they knew was coming.
"Alexis, she should have been here to receive her diploma, and be able to celebrate her graduation, and going off to college," said Alexis' aunt, Angela Taylor.
The school made a special presentation to the family of Alexis, giving them the diploma she would have walked the aisle for. Students and faculty showed their support for the Murphy family, and others during the commencement ceremony.
"We are strong. And we have faced more recent losses of a beloved teacher, and two classmates, who should be sitting beside you today," said Todd Weidow, the Principal of Nelson County High School.
"We knew this day was coming, so we were happy to know that, you know, the community is behind our family one hundred and ten percent," said Taylor.
With the final toss of the caps into the sky complete, Taylor hopes the family can now start to put the pieces back together, while working to make sure that no other family deals with an abduction.
"Just to really start the healing process, and continuing to promote awareness about abduction," she said.
Healing for a family, and for the community in Nelson County.
"And whether your future takes you to another state, or to another country, you will always be 'Nelson Strong,'" said Weidow.
Taylor says the family is in the process of setting up a scholarship program for a Nelson County High School graduate, in the name of Alexis Murphy. They hope to be able to present that next year.