Military Funeral Etiquette

Posted on September 19, 2022 by Williams Funeral Home under Funeral Home
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funeral home in Lawrenceburg, TN

A veteran can earn a military honors service at a funeral home in Lawrenceburg, TN by serving their country in an honorable way. Every honorably discharged veteran is eligible for standard miliary honors, no matter which branch of the armed forces they served in, whether they died in battle, or if they lived a long life.

There are two kinds of military honors services: standard military honors and full military honors.

In a standard military honors service, a military chaplain officiates the service and serves as a counselor for the bereaved before and after the service. A standard service also includes a United States flag that is draped over the casket for the service and given to the family afterwards as a keepsake to honor their lost loved one’s service. An honor guard to present arms and salute the deceased is another part of a standard military honors. At the appropriate time, two members of the guard will perform the flag folding ceremony. The guard will fold the flag into a tri-corner shape. The guard will present the flag to the next of kin. Finally, a standard military honors service includes the playing of Taps, a standard bugle call during which everyone should stand and face the flag. Military personnel will salute, and civilians will place their right hand over their hearts.

A full military honors service includes the same elements as standard service as well as several other honors, like a star-ranking officers are honored with a fired salute. In this tradition, the deceased will receive a specific number of gun salute depending on his or her military rank. For example, Five-Star ranking Generals, along with chiefs of staff, cabinet members, and other high-ranking US officials will receive a 19-gun salute, Three-Star ranking officers will receive a 15-gun salute, and One-Star ranking officers will receive an 11-gun salute. The full 21-gun salute is reserved for the President as Commander-in-Chief. A full military honors funeral also includes a military band and an escort platoon to accompany the deceased to burial or the service. Finally, a Colonel/Captain and above will receive standard military honors and a caparisoned, riderless horse to symbolize a fallen leader.

But how should you act at military honors funeral, whether standard or full? These tips will help shed light on military funeral etiquette:

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  • Attire – Men should wear a darkly-colored suit and a tie, while women should wear a dark suite, dress, or skirt and blouse. All military personnel should wear their dress uniforms. Similar to standard funerals, its best to dress as conservatively as possible out of respect for the deceased.
  • Where to Sit – Only immediate family members of the deceased should sit in the front row, as this is a pale of honor and makes it easier to give them the folded flag. Everyone seated should stay seated throughout the entire service, unless directed to stand.
  • Saluting – Only current or former military members should salute, but all civilians should remove hats or headgear during the salute.

Want more information on military honors at Lawrenceburg, TN funeral homes? Call or visit us today.

 

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