A military funeral 31 years later

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Colonel Jack Harris passed away suddenly in 1980 and never had a military funeral. However, Thursday his family came together to remember and honor his life.

Jack Harris was a UT graduate and served in World War II. He spent years traveling the world with his family while working for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Even though he traveled, he always called Tennessee his home especially a piece of land off John Sevier Highway.

His daughter Judy Wren told us "He grew up coming here on the weekends riding, hunting and fishing with his brother. His parents later built a home here so it was the place we all called home."

The land is a special place for the Harris family that they now share with other veterans because it's the fourth Tennessee Veteran's Cemetery.

A proper homecoming for Colonel Harris who died suddenly in 1980 after suffering a heart attack. His death happened so quickly that the family didn't have time to put together a military funeral.

But 31 years later, Colonel Harris had the military funeral that he never had.

"I did a lot of grieving for a lot of years but now I'm just so happy that he will be where he should be." said Judy

Colonel Harris is the first veteran to be buried at the new cemetery but won't be the last. Officials say there should be enough room on the land for veterans over the next 70 years.


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