Gold Star families to be honored during Fayetteville’s Veterans Day parade

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — He was the kind of guy everyone wanted to be around.

“Anytime Chris walked into a room everyone flocked to him, everyone wanted to be around him,” Britt Harris said. “He was so funny, so charismatic.”

Britt’s husband, Army SPC Chris Harris, was killed in action on Aug. 2, 2017.

“It never hurts less, just less often,” Britt Harris said.

She was pregnant with their daughter.

“I point to pictures and will tell her ‘that’s Chris, that’s da da’,” Harris said. “He’s in heaven, he’s a hero.”

Little Christian happens to have those same blue eyes.

“It’s like looking at Chris all over again,” Harris said.

Britt was invited to take part in Fayetteville’s Veterans Day parade this year. The focus is celebrating Gold Star families.

“It makes us feel like we’re not forgotten, and it really helps with the grieving process that we’re going to go through for the rest of our lives,” Harris said. “It doesn’t just end at the one-year mark or the two-year mark, it’s forever.”

Paula Garcia’s son Marine PFC Shawn Knisley is buried just a few rows down from Chris Harris at the Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery.

“When I come here it gives me peace,” Garcia said. “It’s a bittersweet moment…you don’t really want to see your child’s name on a headstone, but you’re so proud of what they died for.”

The two women are proud to represent their loved ones whenever and wherever they get the chance.

“I’m always happy to be included and try to show up to any and everything I’m invited to,” Harris said. “I’m always eager to come out and represent my soldier.

They will also be laying wreaths at the cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America.

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