ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — After most high school graduation ceremonies became virtual, many graduates were left without the fun of a big celebration.
But thanks to an area photographer, some members of the Class of 2020 were honored Wednesday with a special ceremony along Main Street in Ellicott City.
“I was pretty upset just because I’ve been looking forward to this since like I was a little girl,” said Caroline Crawford, a graduate of Marriotts Ridge High School.
Pam Long of Pam Long Photography put the celebration together.
“I just wanted to step it up a notch and honor and allow the community to extend their congratulations,” she said.
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Despite the struggles businesses in Ellicott City have faced, from the 2018 floods to the COVID-19 economic downturn, they still donated flowers, gift bags and photography to the students.
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball addressed the graduates and said he thinks the pandemic will only help them overcome whatever life throws at them.
“(The) Class of 2020 is graduating at a time that exemplifies the challenges and difficulties they’re going to face. They know that they can persevere through anything and any of the life challenges they’re going to face,” Ball said.
The graduates are starting out their adult lives while much of the world is on hold, but they say the pandemic isn’t stopping them from making any big plans.
“(I’m) still going to school, they’re planning on opening so I’m not letting COVID stop anything that I’m doing,” said Emily Oberuch, a graduate from Long Reach High School.