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New Bern HS Class of 2017 pays tribute to fallen classmate

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NEW BERN, Craven County - New Bern High School held an emotional graduation ceremony on Saturday.

Three years ago, NBHS freshman Tanner Webb died in a boating accident, but his classmates wanted to pay tribute to their fellow classmate on a night where he would have walked across the stage with them.

The Class of 2017 provided Webb's family with a honorary diploma.

"It made me tear up that's for sure," Webb's mother, Trisha, said. "It was beyond our expectations."

Webb's former classmates didn't stop there, however, presenting the family with a basket, which included a cap, gown and a yearbook with Tanner's name engraved in it.

"They also came up with the idea of painting a bat and it, a baseball bat, and it had like the colors of like the Carolina blue that he really loved all the way down to the red of New Bern and and just some other like design on it and then the seniors for the New Bern baseball team signed it for him," Trisha Webb said.

Though the family was immensely grateful for the honor, Trisha Webb said her message to the students was to live their lives to the best of their abilities and take advantage of the opportunities that life offers.

"I want them to move forward... (They) sit here and tell me 'I'm gonna do it for Tanner,'" she said. "No, I want you to do it for you!"

She said the Tanner Webb Memorial Scholarship awarded more than $10,000 in scholarship money to various members of the Class of 2017.

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