MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - On this Memorial Day, slain soldiers were honored at the Senior Family Center in Miami Gardens and attended an event to commemorate their lost loved ones, an honor that no family wants.

“We would like to say thank you and we will always be here for you,” said the speaker of the event.

Being recognized on Memorial Day because their loved one paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

“I didn’t force him to go to the military he wanted to go to the military and that’s what makes me feel good inside and I can sleep at night,” said Cowanda Johnson Mother of Sgt. L.A David Johnson.

The gathering started at 9 a.m. Monday at 18330 N.W. 12th Ave. where the family of Sgt. La David Johnson was also in attendance. He was killed in an ISIS-led ambush attack in Niger six years ago. Cowanda Johnson raised him since he was five years old.

“I was against the military all that the beginning but once he did it and the goodness it brought all my other kids followed behind him,” said Johnson.

She’s grateful for his legacy and the recognition he’s received, but it doesn’t make today or any day any easier

“We just left for bed and I went in the hotel, I screamed for, like 30 minutes,” said Johnson.

Johnson said she hoped that people understood this is not a day of celebration. And it is more than a day off. It’s a day to recognize the men and women like her son that never came home.

“When I leave here, I’m going to my son’s grave and I am gonna fix it up and put his flowers on there because it’s a memory, it’s something that we suppose to remember it. Not at the beach eating hot dogs and poker beans when we don’t know the real meaning behind Memorial Day,” said Johnson.

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