How Do Military Honors Work with Cremation?
You are probably familiar with the idea of a funeral with military honors. Even if you have never attended one in person, you have most likely seen on in a movie or show and can picture the honor guards playing the song Taps on a bugle, the folding of the flag and the presenting it to the family. But if your loved one opted for cremation services in Ridgeway, SC., can they still have this ceremony and honors? The answer is yes. Let’s look deeper into military honors and how it works with cremation.
What Are Military Honors?
If you are not familiar with military honors, it is what is given for our members of the armed forces. It is a guaranteed act under the National Defense Act. While the exact honors given does depend on things like how long the deceased was in the military, what branch they served in, and if they were active or retired, there are certain minimum honors that are guaranteed for everyone who served. These honors include the folding of the flag, the presentation of the flag to the family and the playing of taps.
The Committal Shelter
When a loved one has been cremated, they can still receive military honors as they would if they had been buried in a casket. This works by the urn being taken to cemetery and placed in the committal shelter.
The committal shelter is a special designated open air covered pavilion that is set up in the cemetery. This shelter provides the family privacy and is where the honors will take place. The urn is placed on the platform in the shelter and the ceremony begins.
With burials, the flag is draped over the casket and then taken, folded, and presented to the family. With a cremation, the flag is not draped over the urn, rather it is already folded and the once the urn has been placed on the platform in the committal shelter, the folded flag will be set leaning against the urn.
Once the urn and flag have been positioned on the platform, a short service will take place. This service typically includes:
- Introduction given by a clergy member
- A poem read
- Song sung or played
- Sharing of a story
- Eulogy delivered
Playing of Taps
After the service has ended, the playing of Taps will begin. This may be preformed by a bugler or, if one is not available, it will be a recording being played. During this performance, the honor guard will salute the deceased as a sign of respect and honor.
Once Taps has been played, the honor guards will take the flag, and unfold it. They will keep it unfolded for a few minutes. Then, they will fold it back up and deliver it to the next of kin. When the guard presents the flag to the relative, they will say:
“As a representative of the United States [military branch], it is my high privilege to present you this flag. Let it be a symbol of the grateful appreciation this nation feels for the distinguished service rendered to our country and our flag by your loved one.”
How to Request Military Honors
When making arrangements for your loved one’s cremation services in Ridgeway, SC. you can talk to the cremation provider about the military honors. As this is a process you will have to request, the cremation director can help you fill out any needed forms as well as assist in submitting them to the proper channels.