Mother walks for her son’s graduation after he dies in car crash

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CHICAGO, IL– Commencement for seniors at one Chicago area high school was as joyous as it was sad. While they experienced the thrill of graduating, they mourned for a fellow classmate at the same time.

Graduation day.

An unforgettable array of sounds and images. One journey ending. Another beginning.

But at Thornton Fractional North High School, it`s a celebration tempered with grief and pain for a student who’s not crossing the stage this year. 18-year-old Aaron Dunigan was killed Saturday. He was a front-seat passenger in a car involved in a head-on collision.

In front of a packed auditorium, Aaron’s mother, in cap and gown, is called up in his place for a special honor.

At a ceremony that becomes all about remembering the young scholar, friend and high school quarterback and the lessons that can be learned from his far-too-early death.

“As we celebrate the hope and possibility that we have here today in front of us..we also have to celebrate the life and experience of Aaron Dunigan,” said Principal Dwayne Evans.

“If you are looking for a way to honor Aaron, do it by going out and living life to the fullest taking advantage of your opportunities and not sitting on the sidelines and watching life pass you by,” said Aaron’s football coach, Mike Anaclerio.