Schoolmates Celebrate Elizabeth's Return

Schoolmates Celebrate Elizabeth's Return

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News Specialist Sandra Yi reporting There were special assemblies and activities at Bryant Intermediate School and at East High today to celebrate the news about Elizabeth.

"Dear Elizabeth: I'm so happy you have returned and so is the rest of the world."

"My name is Randy Paycheck, and I'm sure you don't remember me, but I remember randomly saying Hi to you in the hall."

"Welcome home Elizabeth. We are glad that you are home and safe. Love, Francesca Moore."

These are the words students at Bryant Intermediate School have waited to say to Elizabeth Smart.

"Welcome home. We missed you. Love, Katie Walsh."

Today they have renewed faith that miracles can happen.

Elizabeth's math teacher, Brenda Hurlburt says, "This is truly a miracle. I don't think I'll ever see a miracle like this again."

Elizabeth was an 8th grade student at Bryant and was only days away from graduating when she disappeared.

Students hung blue ribbons to symbolize hope that Elizabeth would be found soon. Nine months later they stand for joy and celebration.

Bryant's principal Frances Battle says, "I never gave up hope, never gave up hope. Never gave up faith it could happen."

Neither did Elizabeth's friends who are now 9th graders at East High School.

They say even in the toughest times, they knew Elizabeth was still alive.

"In my mind, I was like, 'No way.' But just always in my heart, I wanted her to come home," said Beth Welch.

This afternoon students were invited to write letters to Elizabeth. Some were so personal, her friends didn't want to read them out loud.

They hope what's written, though, will bring comfort to a girl who they say was a friend to everyone.

"We just grew up together and she was so nice to everyone. She'd just compliment you and even if you were having the worst day, it would make you feel better," Welch says.

"I just remember how angelic she was playing the harp, her fingers and everything. She always had a smile on her face," remembers East High student Brady Tolbert.

Elizabeth's friends say Elizabeth would have started at East High School last fall. She chose that school in part to be with her brother whose a junior there.

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