Paradise High School Seniors Graduate Seven Months After Camp Fire

They survived the worst wildfire in California’s history. But, on June 6, Paradise High School’s Class of 2019 was in a celebratory mood as 220 students walked down the aisle to receive their diplomas.

The graduation ceremony came just seven months after the fire that killed 85 people and virtually destroyed the entire town. The city of 26,000 only has between 800 and 2,000 people left, the Associated Press reports. Of Paradise High School’s 980 students, 900 lost their homes.

“The fire could burn just about every physical object under the sun, but it couldn’t touch the connections we have built over that lifetime,” senior class president Garrett Malcolm told the crowd during his speech. “We will always carry the name and spirit of Paradise with us. Not because of its death, but because of its life and what it stood for.”

Check out KCRA’s interviews with some of the graduates here