Military Funeral Traditions: Honoring our Veterans with Respect and Dignity
From the sounding of Taps to the presentation of the American flag, military funeral traditions encompass a range of poignant customs and unique elements.
As we pause to commemorate Veterans’ Day and honor the heroes who have served our nation, we do so with the utmost respect. Military funeral traditions represent timeless practices that pay tribute to America’s servicemembers and ensure their sacrifices are never forgotten.
Please read on for some special ways to create a dignified farewell for your beloved member of the armed forces.
Select a military casket.
Families of deceased veterans often choose a casket that commemorates their service to the nation. A particular material, color, or patriotic design may represent the military qualities that are so important in their lives. Other caskets have personalization options, such as commemorative panels, medallions, and corner emblems.
Assemble a military memorabilia display.
This exhibit could take a variety of formats. You might set up a memory table during the visitation that displays your loved one’s medals, uniforms, pictures, and various achievements from their time in service, for instance. This type of exhibit would also be appropriate for display during the repast.
Encourage healing through music.
If your veteran was in a band or was a music lover, a live musical accompaniment might be just the thing to honor their memory. Or perhaps a soloist playing your loved one’s favorite instrument could provide the background soundtrack to the ceremony. If speakers are available, you could simply plug in your phone or other music-streaming device and share the playlist of the departed’s favorite songs before, during, or after the service. You could also capture the military atmosphere by including some songs from their branch of the armed forces, such as “Anchors Aweigh” for Navy veterans or “The Wild Blue Yonder” for those who served in the Air Force.
Speak the language of flowers.
To honor those who have nobly served their country, florists can create a wide array of stunning patriotic funeral arrangements. From red and white rose arrangements that symbolize unity, to the constancy that’s represented by blue hyacinths, there’s sure to be a wreath, standing spray, casket adornment, bouquet, or centerpiece that perfectly suits your loved one’s memory. If the departed had a favorite flower, make it an integral part of the arrangement.
Embrace military-themed elements.
Honoring your loved one’s service to our nation can extend throughout many aspects of the funeral or memorial service. From funeral programs emblazoned with patriotic designs to decorations that reflect specific branches of the service, there are many ways to subtly create a patriotic atmosphere.
Include military funeral honors.
Military funeral honors are carried out by the deceased’s branch of service and can be performed in a military or private cemetery. Typically, the funeral honors will include a casket team of pallbearers, the firing of three rifle volleys, a live bugler or recorded playing of Taps, and the folding and presentation of the burial flag. Additional funerary honors may be included depending on your loved one’s rank. Your funeral director can assist you in submitting the required paperwork and making the military honors arrangements.
On Veterans’ Day, it is especially important to recognize the rituals that pay tribute to the heroes of the United States armed forces. The military funeral traditions outlined above remind us of the gratitude we owe to those who have dedicated their lives to serving our nation.
The dedicated staff at Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services is proud to honor our nation’s veterans. We are here to provide you and your family with professional and dignified support during your time of need. Please reach out to us if you have questions or require assistance in any way.
About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please visit batchelorbrothers.com.