Veteran & Military Memorial
We take great pride in honoring the lives and paying tribute to our military veterans. Our craftsmen have worked with families and organizations over the years and have developed a line of bereavement and memorial products and services we feel honors and preserves the memory and life of those who rose up to the call of duty and defended our freedom and liberty while providing comfort and support to the families they leave behind. From custom engraved fired brass bullet casings to memorial shadowboxes and flag display cases, our hope is that the memory and legacy of your loved will be proudly displayed and treasured for years to come.
Military and Veteran Funeral Idea GuidePlanning a funeral service for a military veteran can seem like a daunting task, especially when dealing with the grief of a loss. We have put together a guide to give you some ideas when planning the funeral and burial service to assist your family. We understand that honoring military service and sacrifice is a large part of veteran families, and the funeral for your loved one should be no exception.
A funeral or burial with military honors typically consists of a flag draped over the casket. The flag draped casket is a proud symbol of the veteran’s service to our country, and immediately preceding the lowering of the casket or end of the service, the flag is ceremonially folded and presented to the family by a flag folding team, or even active duty military members. When the folding is completed, the flag symbolizes the three cornered hat worn by the patriots of the American Revolutionary War. A certificate detailing the symbolism is usually presented with the flag to the family. Often times, the flag will be placed into a wooden display case engraved with the Name, Rank, Service Details of the veteran, to be proudly displayed after the funeral. When planning the service, you should contact the local VFW, American Legion, or other veteran organization that offers assistance to families at the service. Many times a local based honor guard or rifle squad formed from local veterans may be able to perform a three volley salute, or ceremonial firing of rifles at the service. This is the traditional firing of 3 shots by a number of rifles during the service. The blank shells from the firing are usually also collected and presented to the family, and many services such as polishing and engraving can be done to create lasting memorial mementos for the family that can be distributed to close family and friends. The honor guard may also be able to provide a trumpeter or bugler to play taps during the service, which is a particularly moving part of the service.
During the service many family members may wish to wear military medals as a way to honor the veteran’s service. Military medals are awarded to service members for extraordinary service and sacrifice, and it may be appropriate to be worn by next of kin, such as spouse or children, or even pallbearers during the funeral service. Keep in mind, if you choose to wear the medals, make sure to check with the funeral director or VFW/Legion to make sure the medals are worn appropriately in accordance to the rules and regulations of the specific service or branch.
Local veteran organizations such as the VFW or American Legion may provide services and participate in the funeral by providing the honor guard, color guard, or other special tributes. They may provide a ceremonial folding of the flag, the rifle salute, a memorial certification, offer to speak at the service, and also may participate in the procession serving as pallbearers or escorting family. The funeral director should be able to help supply you with the contact information and possible services offered by your specific local organizations, as services may vary based on where the funeral is occurring.
Displaying memorabilia from the veteran’s service can be another way for family members to honor and remember the veteran’s military service. Such memorabilia may include uniforms, medals, swords, letters, photographs, and other items used during their time of service. Sharing of these items allow others to learn and reflect on the service and sacrifice your loved one made for their freedom. The memorabilia can be placed on tables during the visitation or near the casket during the service.
When designing and printing out the programs for the actual funeral service, many times veteran families will use a military themed design. Pictures of the veteran in uniform, flag backgrounds, military crests and unit or rank logos can also be incorporated into the program. Many times a brief overview of the veteran’s service including dates, ranks, branch, and any special honors can be written and included near the picture. The program should also include the order of service and names of those that are planned to participate in the service as well as their relation to the veteran, and any special tributes or honors that will be taking place during the service. The program is a memento that most people hang on to after the service with their keepsakes, so taking the time to ensure everything is accurate, and professional will go a long way to honoring the memory of your loved one.
If music will be performed or played during the service, incorporating patriotic music can be a nice touch. Some examples of patriotic music would be the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, and Taps. These can be played by live musicians or by recording, and can be played at various points during the service, such as the procession, beginning or end of the service, during the eulogy. One of the better points in the service is to time the music with either the ceremonial folding of the flag, or adjoining the rifle three volley salute. Your choice of music may depend on the veterans rank and service organization, and guidance from the funeral direction may help to ensure the music is appropriate and well timed.
If the veteran was a high ranking member or died in battle while deployed, you may be able to coordinate a flyover. This may be something your local veteran organization would be able to help you out with, and is generally not performed at most veteran funerals due to the cost and logistics involved. However, if you have ever been at a ceremony with a fly over, you understand how moving these moments may be.
We hope we have given you some useful information here to help you in honoring your loved one. We understand it can be hard to think through all of the aspects of a military funeral and burial, but we hope this guide gives you a starting point and some things to consider. We highly recommend contacting local veteran organization for assistance as well as working with your funeral director to make sure the service goes smoothly and gives the honor and respect your loved ones deserve.