If your loved one has passed and he or she was a veteran, be sure to inform the funeral home director of your loved one’s service. The Veterans Administration provides bronze memorials for the burial plot free of charge to all deceased veterans who were honorably discharged. Additionally, there are other veterans’ benefits available to you that you can learn about through the funeral home. The funeral itself will likely be slightly different than the standard procedure for a civilian funeral.
It is not uncommon for families to hold funeral services at a place of worship to be followed by a committal service. During the funeral and committal services, all attendees are expected to conduct themselves respectfully. Military personnel are generally expected to wear their dress uniforms. It is proper for military personnel to salute at the following times:
- While the casket is being moved
- When the hearse passes by
- During the gun salute and the playing of “Taps”
- While the casket is being lowered into the ground
Civilian attendees are not expected to salute.
It is customary for an honor guard to transport the coffin . If the funeral services take place at a house of worship, then the family may choose to select civilian pallbearers to move the coffin from the building to the hearse. At the cemetery, the six-man honor guard will transport the coffin from the hearse to the site.
A religious leader will read a committal service. Alternatively, non-religious alternatives to prayer and Scripture may be read. These rites commit the body to its final resting place.
At the conclusion of the reading, the honor guard will hold the American flag taut over the casket. Three volleys may be fired to honor the decedent. Then, a bugler will play “Taps.” The honor guard will fold the American flag in a ceremonial way and present it to the family.
At Chapel of the Chimes Hayward , our funeral home directors extend our gratitude to the men and women who have served our nation. Family members can learn about veteran honors by calling (510) 398-6922. Our funeral home in Hayward is a proud provider of burial and cremation services.