What Does Military Funeral Honors Include?

Planning a funeral is an emotional experience. You want to provide the most honorable way to remember your loved one, yet there are so many things to consider. If your loved one was a member of the United States Armed Forces then they may be eligible for Military Funeral Honors. Learn what this entails, who’s eligible, and how you can request it. What’s involved in Military Funeral Honors Eligible veterans can receive Military Funeral Honors free of charge. In fact, it’s mandated by law. Your veteran will receive an honor guard detail for their funeral. It will consist of no fewer than two members of the Armed Forces. One of these members will be a representative of whichever branch of the service your loved one was involved in. While honor details can vary, at a minimum they will perform a ceremony which includes folding and presenting the American flag to their next of kin. This may be their spouse, child, parent, or other family member. During the folding and presen…
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Funerals Around the World

With life comes death, and every culture has a unique way of honoring and saying goodbye to their loved ones. Here are some of the most interesting funeral customs from around the world. The Malagasy of Madagascar. The Malagasy culture remember and honor their ancestors with a funeral tradition called Famadihana, also called the turning of the bones. Family members remove the bodies from the crypt, rewrap them in fresh clothes, carry them around the village and even dance with them to live music before returning the bodies to the crypt. South Korea. While some customs are ancient others are born as answers to contemporary problems. In 2000 South Korea (a small country) passed a law that loved ones had to be removed from their graves after 60 years, making burial a less popular option to cremation. Rather than housing the cremains in urns South Korean families are having their loved one's ashes pressed into "death beads". These beads can be pink, turquoise or black and…
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A Concise History of the Funeral

As long as there have been people, there have been funerals. The truth is there is no right or wrong way to walk through the process of funeral rites. The time honored traditions of your own family are likely based on ancient practices, today we are going to list some of the most important points in the evolution of modern funeral services. 60,000 BC: Neanderthals are known to have decorated their dead with flowers, antlers and stones. 22,000 BC: Likely interment of William Buckley’s “Red Lady of Paviland”. The Red Lady was dyed with ochre, covered in seashell necklaces and surrounded by common ritual artifacts of the area made from bone, ivory and antlers. 5000 BC: Dolmens, or portal graves, begin to appear 4000 BC: Embalming begins in ancient Egypt and burial mounds, or Tumuli, appear in various areas around the globe 3400 BC: Mummification becomes standard procedure for the dead in Egypt 3300 BC: Mummies are prepared with varying sophistication based on the…
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Flower Arrangements at Funerals

A common thing many people have to think about when preparing for a funeral for a loved one and that is what to do about flowers. Many people wonder why flowers are such a staple of funerals and what significance they have for the deceased, the family, and those gathered. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider the option of including flowers in your funeral arrangement plans: Belief Many people use flowers as a way to mourn and grieve and also see them as part of their expression of their beliefs. Whether an after life,a new life, or some other ending, flowers are often seen as a way to express the life of the person who is being remembered. The Tradition Americans for the most part traditionally have used gifts of flowers as a way to expressed their sympathy for the family, pay respect to the departed friend, and to remember good times. This long-standing tradition helps many people heal and accept the loss and also can serve as a focus for family and…
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Funeral Photography and Death Masks

Funerals are a chance to reflect on a loved one that we've recently lost. It's a chance for friends and family to come together and reminiscence on a loved one's life, acknowledge contributions that person made, and extend condolences to the surviving kin. Basics of Funeral Photography  Photographing a funeral in a sensitive, discrete way can offer families a chance to stay in touch with a loved one who's recently left us. Photos taken on the day of the funeral can be assembled and put into a photo album to send to family and friends who couldn't make it to the funeral itself. Copies of the photo album can also be sent to close family to keep the loved one's memory alive. A camera without a flash is a tactful way for a funeral photographer to capture family members consoling one another as well as the ceremony of the funeral itself. A professional photographer can take high-resolution pictures of the coffin and the pallbearers in order to cement the day in a hardcover ph…
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Below Ground vs. Above Ground Burial

More and more people are having difficulty in deciding whether or not to be buried below ground, or if they should opt for an above ground burial instead. Most people don’t even want to think about death, but the debate rages on – should you be buried below or above ground? There are typically three ways you can choose to be buried: • Mausoleum • Grave • Tomb Mausoleums are above ground structures that house the body of the deceased, in full form or cremation, with a shrine being built to memorialize the body. A grave is a dug out hole in the ground where the body is placed, usually in a coffin, and a tomb is and above ground grave, such as a vault. Many people have strong spiritual beliefs that make them feel closer to nature and the elements of life. These believe that an above ground mausoleum would put them closer to those elements while they rest eternally. Others can’t stand the thought of being put in a box for the rest of eternity while worms and ot…
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8 Steps to Writing an Obituary

The death of a loved one is never easy. Emotions, grief and fear can cloud your judgment and make it difficult to get the necessary tasks done. One way to work through your grief in a constructive manner is to write an obituary. We’ve collected eight easy steps to writing an obituary, to make the process just a little bit easier while you grieve the loss of your loved one. 1.       Call the Paper The first step to writing a proper obituary starts by calling the paper you plan on having the obituary run in. Many papers have different guidelines, pricing and word limits, so finding out that information before you begin writing can help you really formulate a writing plan. Most papers work on a “column” system, so ask how many words typically fit into a column and how much it will cost. You’ll also want to ask about deadlines. 2.       Read other Obituaries Before you begin formulating your thoughts, it is always a good idea to read other obituaries. You’ll get a …
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Cremation vs Burial: Deciding Which is Right for You

Deciding between cremation and a burial is never an easy task.  The decision that is made is going to dictate the way in which you spend the rest of eternity, in essence.  The majority of people out there simply do not want to even think about this.  The reality, though, is that pre-planning the way in which you want your funeral service to be held can make it that much easier on everyone around you. What many individuals end up doing is just leaving funeral service planning in the hands of those who love them most.  Planning ahead can help eliminate some pivotal decisions that have to be made though.  One of these is deciding between cremation and burial and which is right for you.  Let’s explore the comparisons between each. Differences in the Cost There are costs that are associated with a funeral service and there are differences between what it costs for a cremation vs burial.  With the way in which the economy is today, money does matter and this can have an impa…
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