Thousands of high school seniors are graduating across the state and students at one school said they have a message for a young man who was not always sure he would live to see the day he would get his diploma.
Although Travis Morton could not make it to the ceremony at Letcher County Central, he was not forgotten.
Whistles, applause and wooing filled the halls of Letcher County Central High School one last time for the class of 2012, but these chants were more for just celebrating graduation. As the seniors lined up in alphabetical order to walk to the stage, all had a message to shout to one of their classmates.
“We love you Travis!” said all 230 graduating seniors.
The class of 2012 at Letcher County central said they are missing one of their own at graduation
“It has been a long time coming for us all and it means a lot to me to be here with all my friends and I know Travis, he would love to be here cause we all love him and we know he loves us too and it would have been great if he could have been here with us,” said graduating senior Austin Johnson.
Johnson said he has known Morton since freshman year and shared his passion for guitar. He said Morton was known and loved by all who surrounded him in the classroom. The 18-year-old’s physical absence was recognized by everyone.
Travis Morton has been battling cancer since his freshman year and was too sick to attend the ceremony.
“God bless him, he couldn’t be here, it would have meant a lot to me if he could have, but he is here in spirit I am sure,” said graduating senior Michael Blair.
Many said Travis has taught them something they can use in the journey that lies ahead.
“The fight in him, the way he fights for life, he has done it since freshman year and he just proves everybody wrong every time,” said Blair.
“He keeps fighting for everything.”
Others echoed the inspiration that Travis’ fight for life has placed in them, something they said they did not learn in textbooks.
“He has been such a blessing an inspiration for me to know and he is just one of the toughest guys I know,” said Johnson.
“I am just thankful that the Lord put him in my path that I could get to know him like I have.”
Friends said they were sad they could not sit with him on this special day.
“We want him to know that we are thinking about him and he is in our prayers and even though he can't be with us here physically he is here with us in our hearts,” said Johnson.
Travis' family said he was sad that he couldn't make it, but they are so glad to know everyone was thinking about him.