National Armed Forces Day: Honoring Those Who Have Served


Today, many Americans will celebrate Armed Forces Day. Set aside back in 1949, the day gives us all the opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. There are parades, open houses on military bases around the country, receptions and air shows.

Just like last year, the President Obama will inspire us with a few well-chosen words. In 2011, he urged all Americans to “salute the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who perform their duties with impeccable courage, commitment, and character, and recognize our moral obligation to serve them and their families as well as they have served us.”

He also asked all Americans to display the flag of the United States at their homes on Armed Forces Day, and urged citizens to learn more about military service by attending and participating in the local observances of the day.

The Unique Opportunity of Funeral Directors


Armed Forces Day gives everyone, including funeral directors, a chance to recognize the contributions of living service men and women.

When families ask a funeral home to arrange military memorial services for a veteran, or soldier killed in the line of duty, the staff members are given a heavy responsibility. Not only the members of the family, but the citizens of the nation, look to them to pay proper tribute to someone who chose to serve us all.

All funeral directors know from experience that a military funeral or memorial service is steeped in tradition and ceremony. Yes, the flag-draped casket, flag-folding ceremony, and graveside bugler are the three lynchpins of a traditional military tribute – but there’s so much more a savvy funeral director can do to make a military funeral service even more meaningful, and memorable.

Here are some ways funeral directors can personalize a military funeral service:

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Create a patriotic-themed tribute video (like the one featured above): With the right tribute video software, you can create a video montage of pictures for your families, that pays tribute to their loved ones years of service. Ask the family for military or service-related pictures, and within minutes, you’ll have a tribute video everyone will love.

Offer customized printing: With the right personalized printing software, you can create customized prayer cards, service programs and thank you cards for your families in-house.

Make a Walk of Honor: Line the path to the graveside service with small American flags. Guests are then asked to take a flag as they leave the service, as a keepsake.

Call on Your Local Patriot Guard Riders: The Patriot Guard Riders are a group of local Samaritans who have an unwavering respect for American servicemen and happen to ride motorcycles. They are invited to attend the funeral services of fallen heroes and act as escorts during the funeral procession.

Every time a veteran’s or soldier’s family turns to you, it’s a shining opportunity to close the final chapter of their lives with dignity and honor befitting their record of exemplary service. Blending traditional military funeral honors with current trends in personalization is the best way to make a military memorial or funeral service truly memorable.

How does your funeral home go out of its way to pay tribute to veterans and servicemen? Please leave your comments below!

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