Wolfson High School to honor seniors who died tragically
Updated On: Jun 04 2013 08:23:33 PM EDT
During its graduation ceremony Wednesday, Wolfson High School will honor two seniors who died tragically this school year.
Many students say they're still reeling from the loss of their classmates, 17-year-olds JaNay Jackson and Jordan Davis.
Jackson was sleeping in her bed in August when police say a man who was driving under the influence crashed into her room, killing her. Investigators say Davis was shot and killed at a Southside gas station in November after a disagreement over loud music.
Arrests were made in both cases, but neither suspect has gone to trial yet.
The teens' parents say their children would have been so proud to walk across that stage and get their diplomas.
"It's just going to be an emotional time," said Ron Davis, Jordan's father.
"Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day for our family," said Felicia Jackson, JaNay's mother.
It's a day the families say they always looked forward to, but it just won't be the same.
"The children, that's what really stirs your emotions up because they knew Jordan, they loved Jordan, they played with Jordan, they dreamt with Jordan," Davis said. "And I think when I see the children, it reminds me of his dreams."
"JaNay was looking so forward to her senior year, just being able to graduate with so many of her friends," Jackson said. "And honestly, I personally don't know how we'll hold up."
Jordan and JaNay were classmates. They were both well-liked, and friends and family say they had bright futures ahead of them.
While nothing will come close to replacing the gaps left in their loved ones' lives, Wolfson will be inviting their parents to sit on stage at commencement and giving them honorary diplomas.
"And I just feel real bad that she won't be here to accept her diploma tomorrow," Jackson said. "Words can't express how much we love and miss her. Not a second goes by that we don't grieve this tremendous loss. So I just hope that everyone continues to keep us in their prayers."
"That's the best way that you can grieve, really: to honor your fallen child," Davis said.
Those who went to school with JaNay and Jordan say it'll be tough not having the two with them on their special day. But their memories live on.
"They still talk about them, they still say good stuff about them," former classmate Duquan Banks said. "But we know he's never going to be forgotten and she's never going to be forgotten. And when it's their birthday, it's on the walls and everything."
"All I can think about is how she (Jackson) should be right next to me with her priceless smile accepting her well earned diploma," said Michelle Givens, a friend of JaNay Jackson. "And it shakes me to the terrible reality that she will not get to be there."
The graduation ceremony is at 4 p.m. at the University of North Florida Arena. It's free, but tickets are required.
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