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A royal blue cap and gown along with a diploma sat in an empty chair at Winthrop Coliseum on Friday afternoon.
That seat belonged to Derek Hammaker, an Indian Land High School senior who died in a car wreck earlier this year. Even though Hammaker didn't walk across the stage Friday afternoon, his named was called like everybody else. His name was also included among the 90 or so graduates listed in the program.
The commencement was bittersweet for the Class of 2008 – joy for reaching a milestone but also sorrow of knowing one of their friends didn't make it.
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