MONTCLAIR - A World War II veteran from Montclair has finally been given his high school diploma 71 years after he was set to graduate.

Luke Walsh was a student at Montclair Immaculate Conception High School in 1943 when he signed up for the Navy.

The 90-year-old veteran believed it was his patriotic duty to join his five brothers to defend the United States. He fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

When he returned to Montclair after the war, he tried to go back to school, but he was told that he was too old.

More than 70 years after he was supposed to graduate, Montclair Immaculate Conception High School presented Walsh with a diploma.

He says that he is happy for this day to finally come.

“I always wanted to complete my Catholic school education,” he says.

Walsh was supposed to graduate with the class of 1945.