Tips For Honoring Military Service At A Funeral

Posted on: 15 September 2018


It takes a brave and special person to sacrifice so much to serve in a branch of the United States military. Planning a funeral for a veteran brings up certain concerns that you'll want to address in the memorial service. Consider these tips to acknowledge the dedication and patriotism that your loved one so honorably showed by serving their country.

Dedicate a Page of the Funeral Program

One way that you can let attendees know details of your loved one's service is by dedicating a page of the funeral program to it. You may include a photo of your loved one in uniform and a few paragraphs about their military involvement. For example, if the person was serving during a war, you might opt to give details of where they served and what they did. Including which branch of the military your loved one was in and stating their ranking is also helpful. If you have any direct quotes from the person about their military involvement, you may wish to place them on the page, too.

Plan to Drape a Flag Over the Casket

Draping a flag over the casket of a veteran is a beautiful, symbolic way to honor their service. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers one cost-free flag to drape over a casket of a military member or to accompany their urn. After the funeral, this flag is generally given to the person's next-of-kin as a keepsake in remembrance of the loved one. Your funeral director should help you obtain the flag.

Include a Mention of Their Service in the Eulogy

Talk to the person who will give the eulogy at the funeral about your loved one's military service. You may request that they mention certain aspects of it during the eulogy. They may simply acknowledge the time that was served in the military or go into greater detail about what it meant to your loved one.

Discuss Your Options with the Funeral Director

Funeral homes are often able to offer a variety of suggestions for honoring military members. You may opt to have a patriotic floral display in honor of military service. You could prominently display a portrait of the person in their uniform. You may even have an artistic collage to represent the military service and include photos from the person's adventures during the time they were serving the country. Your funeral director may offer a wide variety of other options, too.

Finally, focus on staying true to what your loved one would have wanted throughout the funeral. Also, when planning your loved one's memorial service and burial, discuss possible veteran's funeral packages with the funeral home. You may be surprised to know that discounts and special services are often available for veterans of the United States military.