WWII veteran given diploma after 75 years


By Sam Wroblewski 630wpro.com

After joining the army at age seventeen to fight in World War Two, Central High School alum Domenic Giarrusso was given his diploma after seventy-five years.

“It’s beyond belief, it’s beyond belief and my life is now complete,” said Giarrusso.

The ceremony held at Cranston West High School honored Giarrusso and fellow World War Two veteran John Casale Jr. for their service and sacrifice. Both men gave up their graduation to go and fight, however Casale received his diploma 15 years ago.

Giarrusso said if he could go back he wouldn’t change a thing.

“I realized that we had to stop the enemy, so I gave up my education to do that; I’m not sorry and under the same circumstances I would do it again.”

The idea for the event came after Cranston West Principle Thomas Barbieri learned Giarusso had never earned a diploma. Barbieri said he immediately called up his counterpart at Providence’s Central High School.

“I called Mrs. Carlson up who quickly responded and said without hesitation ‘we’re going to do something,’” said Barbieri.

Central High School Principle Julia Carlson said the ceremony was put together rin just a matter of days.

“In the last week we have been working pretty much every day, Mr. Barbieri and I were constantly in contact making sure we are doing this right,” said Carlson.

Carlson said giving Giarrusso his diploma is a way the community can show its appreciation for veterans.

“Our true heroes, our celebrities, our rock stars are these two gentlemen.”

The ceremony was attended by local and state lawmakers and education officials from both Cranston and Providence.