SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Graduating students at the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School received decorated “Purple Heart” cards from elementary schoolers on Thursday.

The cards serve as reminders to stay above the influence and remain safe leading up to graduation, as well as wish students luck in their future endeavors.

“It’s just really touching,” remarked senior Tessa Merlo. “I remember doing these, and now here I am.”

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The Purple Hearts lined the high school walls as seniors found their names and collected their cards. Merlo and many others were touched and inspired by the adorable handwriting and authentic messages.

“It’s really special because a lot of children have faith in me, and their faith in me is going to help me succeed,” declared Merlo. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.