Nightly News   |  May 25, 2013

Bittersweet graduation day in Moore, Okla

As it was for many of her classmates here, Saturday's high school graduation was an emotional ceremony for 18-year-old Alyson Costilla, a moment of pride long anticipated. NBC's Ron Mott reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it was another somber day in moore , oklahoma, where funerals continued after this week's destructive tornado, but there were celebrations, too. at some high school graduation ceremonies. although the emotions were certainly bittersweet. ron mott is in moore for us tonight.

>> reporter: today, more of the estimated $2 billion of tornado damage was again hauled away. part of the clean up effort. bucket by bucket. piece by pain staking piece.

>> so, we're finding all the banking records and tax forms for the employees.

>> while reminders of devastation lie across much of the town, the panic and chaos that ripped through the air along with the tornado are detailed in harrowing 911 calls.

>> moore , 911.

>> there's people down. we're stuck under rubble.

>> moore 911.

>> we've got a day care full of babies. we need help bad.

>> i'm going to do work study.

>> reporter: when the flurry of calls slowed, 24 people, including 18-year-old allison 's mom, would be found dead. terry left her job at the faa to check on allison , seeking shelter herself at a 7/11 along the way. their house and the store were both destroyed. her funeral was yesterday. this morning, allison prepared for graduation day without her biggest supporter.

>> my mom. she talked about how exciting, how excited she was to walk across the stage and how excited she was going to be for me to move to college.

>> reporter: she's already wearing the school's orange. oklahoma state university .

>> hello.

>> allison ?

>> reporter: whose president phoned her in the middle of our interview, offering condolences this fall.

>> thank you so much. i appreciate it.

>> reporter: cap and gown with her classmates, allison walked across the stage to get her diploma as friends and family in the audience held up pictures of her mother.

>> it's just really hard. because i wanted her there and you can't physically hug her.

>> reporter: tomorrow, president obama is scheduled to tour some of this destruction here, meeting with families, thanking first responders and pledging the full support of the government and the nation.

>> thank you.