WASHINGTON — With the world watching, a Pasco County native is playing a key role in the tribute services for former President George H.W. Bush.
Marine Corporal Kevin Harris, of New Port Richey, is part of an elite group in Washington D.C. that helps honor fallen heads of state and presidents.
Harris was one of eight military service members who helped carry the former president's casket into the Capitol rotunda Monday evening.
"It's a pretty incredible feeling," said Harris. "We're out there to make that funeral perfect for those family members who we are laying to rest."
Harris tells ABC Action News that caskets weigh between 400 and 800 pounds.
"It's something we train for," said Harris. "We have the most extensive training. We go through six to 12 months of ceremonial drill school here."
Harris' family reflected on their son's commitment to serving his country while watching live coverage from their New Port Richey living room.
"Seeing our son there walking up the Capitol steps with the coffin, we were both very emotional crying," said Michael Harris.
Harris' historic duty continues Wednesday morning as he helps carry the former president's casket from the rotunda back to the hearse. It will then be transported to the National Cathedral for his state funeral.