Military Funeral Etiquette
~Honoring Those Who Have Valiantly Served~
Military funeral etiquette is a way to show your reverence and
respect to a fallen soldier and their family. It is essential that you
maintain quiet dignity while they are being honored.
funeral is rich in tradition.
Those who serve our country, especially in times of war are heroes and
deserve the honor that comes because of what they have given. These men
and women have given all that they have.
funerals are for those who have been killed in the line of duty,
retired from any branch of the armed forces or have been honorable
The deceased soldier or sailor are honored with:
Honor Guard Detail. There will be at least two members of the military,
one of which will be a member of the branch the deceased served in.
- The casket draped with the American flag.
- The folding of the American flag by a member of the Honor
- The next of kin being presented with this flag.
- The playing of Taps.
rifle volleys fired. This is done when there are enough
the Honor Guard available. After this is done, three of the casings are
slipped into the folded flag before it is presented to the next of kin.
The Funeral Etiquette
Military funeral etiquette has long been held as reverent and respectful
It is a quiet, solemn affair. There is different funeral
etiquette depending on who you are and how you are involved.
should be in their dress uniform. You understand the importance of
saluting the flag and the fallen hero. You should salute:
- When the hearse passes in front of you.
- While the casket is being moved to the hearse and
subsequently to the graveside.
- During the rifle volleys.
- During the playing of Taps.
- While the casket is being lowered into the ground.
are reserved the utmost respect during this time. They are to be seated
in the front of the chapel or mortuary during the services. At the
graveside, they will be seated closest to the casket.
their love for the family by being at the service and offering a
shoulder for support. Good funeral manners are displayed by dressing
appropriately. Conservative, dark clothing are appropriate for this
time. It does not mean that you wear all black, however your clothes
should be modest, clean and respectful.
During the services, follow
the lead given by the chaplain or whom ever is presiding
If you are not of the same faith as the deceased, be respectful during
their times of silence and prayers. Stand and be seated when asked to
Military funerals are generally not
a place for young children
It is difficult for them to understand the reverence that is required
by military funeral etiquette. Their little bodies have a hard time
sitting still and being quiet for long periods of time. If it is
possible, leave them home. If you have to take them, be prepared to
leave the services if they become a distraction.
As this is a reverent and solemn occasion, cell phones, iPods and
anything else electronic should
be turned off
. There is a time and a place for everything.
Grandfather was honored with a military funeral for his service in
World War II. Although we were suffering from his loss, it was a
blessing to participate in this service. As they tenderly presented my
Grandmother with the flag from his casket, our hearts were filled with
gratitude and love. The song Taps
will always hold a special place in my heart because it represents the
service and love he showed us and his country.
bless all who have served, are serving and will serve. Those who have
fallen are not forgotten, they are honored in our hearts forever.