MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) -- They've been through more than any high school students should ever have to deal with.
But, on Thursday night, the graduating seniors at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville were celebrating their upcoming commencement with a special guest.
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle is used to receiving standing ovations at PNC Park.
But this was a first at Franklin Regional. It followed his stirring speech of praise, inspiration and faith.
"It's a love letter from me to you tonight," said Hurdle. "You're worth it. You're more than worth it."
Hurdle praised the seniors and the community for rising up and staying strong after the April 9 stabbing spree that injured 20 students and one school officer at the high school.
Hurdle says it presented an opportunity.
"To rise up, to connect, to become selfless, to become empowered and show courage, to make a difference," he said.
The 500 graduating seniors and their families attended the Baccalaureate service, a non-denominational service that isn't sponsored by the high school.
Hurdle praised the way the class handled adversity and says he can't wait to see what they'll accomplish after their graduation Friday night.
"God's got this today, just as he did April 9," Hurdle said. "He's got you heading out the door your senior year. God's got this."
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