FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Residents of Granbury aren’t letting May’s deadly storms, which produced tornadoes that hit the community, stop them from celebrating an achievement eighteen years in the making.

Granbury High School’s valedictorian told graduates if their senior class can take on a tornado and come out of it OK, then nothing can stop them in the future. It’s an inspiring message torn from a page filled with stories of survival and scars.

Wearing neck braces and casts, Granbury High School seniors injured during the storms found a way to make it across the biggest stage of their young lives.

The thunderous applause that accompanied the presentation of diplomas was much more welcome than the thunder that accompanied the violent storm earlier this month, which destroyed homes and killed 6 people.

“The house lifted up and I went up with it about 20 to 30 feet in the air,” recalled graduating senior Dillon Whitehead, who was inside his home when it was swept away by a tornado.

He survived with only a broken foot.

Whitehead and other graduates hurt when the twister hit experienced one of the best days of their lives less than two weeks after one of the worst. Most said they want the class of 2013 to be remembered for triumph over tragedy.

“I don’t think it will be a tragedy that we will remember I think we’ll remember a time we came together,” said senior Blair Cowden.

Some of the graduates and their parents have only recently left hospitals and some still don’t have homes; making Friday night’s graduation bittersweet ‘yet it was hard to tell from all the cheers and joy inside this convention center.

“It’s the banding together its the community coming together and loving one another and hugging our neighbors,” according to graduating senior Aubrey Reinhardt.

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