Military Funeral and Memorial Services

Funeral and memorial services can be considered a beautiful and memorable experience by all those who attend. Memorial and funeral services can be a celebration of one’s life and accomplishments. Military funeral honors are one great example of this. Military honors are used to acknowledge and commend one’s service to his or her country. Military honors are available to all servicemen and women, whether in times of war or peace.

Law mandates that the rendering of military funeral honors be held for all eligible veterans when requested either by the deceased before passing, or by the departed’s family. In order to demonstrate eligibility, the family must provide the funeral director with a discharge document showing any type of discharge other than dishonorable service. One example of the necessary forms would be a DD 214 form, a certificate of release or discharge from active duty.

During a typical military funeral service, the Honor Guard will consist of at least one member from the branch of service in which the deceased had served. If a casket is present, the flag will typically be draped over it, which will then be folded and given to the family either during or after the service. The blue field of the flag should always be placed at the head of the casket.

Taps will be played either by a bugler or by recording, and a three-volley salute, sometimes referred to as a twenty one gun salute, will be held by a firing squad. In some cases, the casings from this salute will be retrieved and given to the family, either by hand or by being placed within the folded flag. It is common to see the presence of a horse-drawn carriage at a military funeral. Depending on the branch of service in which the departed had served, additional elements may be used.

With all military funeral and memorial services, a Presidential Memorial Certificate is made available to the family upon request. If you are the family and would like to receive one, your funeral director will be able to assist you with this, and all other aspects of military funeral service.

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