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Santa Fe High School holds graduation ceremony for seniors

SANTA FE, Texas – The community of Santa Fe takes another step forward, two weeks after the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School. Seniors will graduate Friday night during a ceremony at Joe Raitano Stadium.

WATCH LIVE: Santa Fe High School graduation

It's the day all 328 Santa Fe seniors have waited four years to see -- graduation day. But it's a bittersweet day for the class of 2018.

The seniors walked across the stage on the two-week anniversary of the shooting. They wore green robes with white stolls, which were a tribute for the eight students and two teachers killed May 18.

SFISD Board President Rusty Norman led the large crowd in a moment of silence for the fallen. The deceased was also remembered in a four-minute slideshow, which displayed their photos.

“The events of May 18 have left a mark on this class, but you are strong and you are determined,” said SFHS principal Rachel Blundell. 

Blundell gifted each senior with a carabiner, used for a mountain climber, as a symbol of their strength and link with one another during a time of adversity.

The community also continued to offer their support for Santa Fe High School students, especially graduating seniors.

"You guys got this, said Kay Wheeldon, who lives in town. "I mean y'all have been through the hardest time probably in your whole lives and you have your whole lives ahead of you and you made it through this, and I just want you guys to know how strong you are and how much we believe in you. Go get em."

Last week, the Santa Fe High School seniors attended the Rockets-Warriors playoff Game 5 at the invitation of Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.

On Tuesday, students returned to the high school to finish out the school year.

The ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. on the field behind the school. Here's a link to a live stream of the graduation ceremony.

There was a large security presence at the stadium. Guests had to have a ticket to get in and were urged to park at the school district and take a shuttle bus over.