First sergeant surprises his daughter at Ida B. Wells graduation

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An Ida B. Wells eighth grade graduate got a lot more than just her diploma Thursday.

Just after Antoniesha Cowan introduced the commencement speaker to the crowd, administrators took her aside.

"Antoniesha, before you sit down, we have a very special surprise for you," one of them said.

All of a sudden, Antoniesha's father, First Sergeant Antonio Cowan, appeared on a projector screen, via Skype.

He was stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany and could not be there for his daughter's graduation.

"I felt happy. I don't know how to explain it," Antoniesha told WREG.

"We want to tell you all the way from Germany that we love you, we're proud of you, and congratulations," First Sgt. Cowan said.

The school put the surprise together and told Antoniesha's mother, Miranda Hardaway, about it Thursday morning.

"I was very excited, and like I said, they had me crying as well," Hardaway said.

Antoniesha said she had no idea.

From his computer screen, First Sgt. Cowan watched his daughter accept her diploma.

He told WREG getting to take part was "the highlight of my year."

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