When a member of your family or a friend dies while serving their beloved country, most families opt to have a military burial. What can you, your family and friends expect when it comes to all of the military traditions associated with their funerals and how can you be respectful during a military service?
Funeral with Military Honors
A funeral with military honors is one steeped in tradition and any member of the armed services in entitled to one upon their death. The military will provide an honor guard detail of at least two soldiers, one of which must be from the same military branch as the deceased. Most times, honors are provided by our local American Legion and VFW Posts. The deceased is provided with a flag that can be draped over the casket, folded properly by the honor guard and then ceremoniously presented to the next of kin. A military funeral always has Taps played by a bugler or on a recording at the end of the funeral.
Saluting Etiquette During a Military Funeral
One of the biggest differences in a military funeral is the use of salutes to show respect for the fallen
soldier and they should be observed in the following situations.
Military members should salute at the following points in any funeral involving the armed forces: When the hearse passes, during rifle volleys, and while Taps is being played. Nonmilitary friends and family need not salute, but should remove any hats and place it over their heart during gun volleys and taps. If they are not wearing hats, they should cover their heart with their right hand.