Sara Waldron didn't think her brother Anthony Lisi was coming home to celebrate her graduation until Monday, but after months of planning, Anthony gave her the suprise of a lifetime before Sara's graduation at the War Memorial Sunday afternoon.
Before he suprised her, Anthony said, "As far as she knows, I'm flying in tomorrow, as far as she knows, I'm all the way across the country."
Sunday's Baldwinsville graduation ceremony lined up perfectly with Anthony's schedule time off from training in California, as he is also just two weeks away from deployment to Afghanistan.
The stage was set in the basement of the War Memorial, where the Class of 2012 was getting in their lines before their procession. Baldwinsville principal Joseph DeBarbieri called Sara up to the podium, where he made small talk with her for a few seconds. Waldran then noticed her brother walking up, and letting out an excited scream, ran into his arms and they embraced.
"No one told me," Waldron said. "I didn't even have a clue, no idea at all. It was the best feeling to see him."
As they embraced, the class, realizing what had happened, began to clap in approval, some even shedding tears. Sara's sister Katie Cooper couldn't hold back from crying.
"I immediately started bawling," she said. "It was perfect, and we couldn't have asked for a better graduation day for [Sara]. She totally deserved it."
With their days together already few and far between, Sara and Anthony appreciated their extra moment together, especially because it fell on her graduation day.
"Now he's going to be here and see me walking across the stage," Sara said. "Knowing that he's leaving is kind of sad, but he'll be here now to see me."
Anthony also realized the importance of the moment, saying, "I told her I had it planned months in advance, and that she could smile now, knowing that her brother was out there watching her walk across the stage."