A High School Graduation, 72 Years Late

Image: Don S. Miyada
World War II veteran Don S. Miyada of Westminster, California, looks to the stage during a ceremony in honor of Japanese American World War II veterans in Washington in 2011. In June of 2014, Miyada finally got to walk in a high school graduation, 72 years after missing his own when his family was imprisoned in an internment camp. Carolyn Kaster / AP, file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A California man who missed his 1942 graduation because he was locked in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans has finally fulfilled his dream.

The Los Angeles Times reported that 89-year-old Don Miyada walked with the Class of 2014 last week at Newport Harbor High School — 72 years after he was denied his own cap and gown.

"It's more honor than I deserve," Miyada said before accepting his diploma. "I'll be thankful to the Newport Harbor graduates that they included me in the graduation."

Miyada was 17 when he was sent with more than 17,000 other detainees to a camp in the Arizona desert shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II.

He was later awarded his diploma but never got to celebrate with his class.

Miyada went on to serve in the U.S. Army and became a professor at the University of California, Irvine but had always missed that graduation moment.

--Associated Press