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Memorial Day is more than just a holiday weekend

One veteran explains why saying 'Happy Memorial Day' may not sit right with everyone.

TAMPA, Fla. — Memorial Day is a holiday where we recognize those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. It’s a day to reflect on the men and women who died fighting for our country.

A lot of people have the day off from work and plan trips for the three-day weekend. While Memorial Day is known to be the "unofficial start to summer," it means much more to those directly impacted.

Take David Harris for example. Harris is a Vietnam veteran and serves as a service officer at the VFW Post 10140 in Tampa. As a veteran, he lost friends in war and many he considered to be his family.

Memorial Day is a time where Harris remembers those lives lost. 

“We all come into the military as strangers, but we become like brothers in there. You never forget the ones that go in your arms as you’re trying to get them back to first aid. You never forget those things and you always live with it. It’s a very special day and I will never forget my comrades and all the other veterans who have sacrificed their lives for this country," Harris explained.

Of course, he celebrates the lives of his friends and family, but wants people to recognize the true meaning of the holiday. 

“It is very important for us to recognize those who gave their lives to help keep our Constitution, beliefs and this country free as it is today," Harris stated.

Harris explained when he hears people say, "Happy Memorial Day," his reaction is, “it’s not a happy time for everyone, but we have to kind of understand they really don’t mean any harm," Harris said. “Happy Memorial Day, that’s just an expression.”

Harris explained the true meaning of the holiday is to honor our American heroes who are no longer with us because they were brave enough to fight for our country.

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