Two Important Tips For Planning A Military Memorial Service

The nation is still at war, and military members are still paying the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the freedoms of their fellow Americans. When planning a memorial service for a military member, it is important to follow military protocol and do things properly. The following information will help in the planning and execution of the memorial for your loved one.

Consult the United States Flag Code

One of the most important things to do when planning and conducting a memorial service for a fallen military member, is to consult the United States Flag Code. The Flag Code is published in Title 36, Chapter 10 of the United States Code. If you don't have time to read the entire Flag Code, FAQs and important notes can be found broken down for ease of use in several places online.

Most people understand that the Flag should never touch the ground, but proper Flag etiquette goes beyond that. You should ensure that you are displaying the Flag in the proper manner. When hanging, the Flag should be facing a specific direction, depending upon where it is located inside a building or outdoors.

For example, the Flag should always be displayed to the right of any other flags, and when flying on a flagpole, should be hoisted above other flags on the same pole. When draped on a casket, the Flag should be placed with the Union at the head of the casket and covering the decedent's heart. 

Obtain the Services of a Military Honor or Color Guard

If a military member dies while on active duty or during an overseas deployment, they are entitled to burial with a full Color Guard. This includes military members to fold the Flag and present it to the survivors, as well as a bugler to sound "Taps" and a seven-member firing party.

Retirees and Guard and Reserve members are entitled to a two-man team to fold the Flag and provide other honors. Many active duty, Guard and military Reserve Honor Guard units are booked solid, and only provide services to active duty members and Guard/Reserve members who die while on active duty.

If your loved one is a retired military member or military member who separated under honorable conditions before retirement, contact the United States Department of Veterans AffairsAmerican Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS and Bugles Across America to obtain members to sound "Taps," present the Flag and serve on the firing party. No veteran should ever be buried without the honors that they earned from service to this great nation.

For more information about planning a memorial service, contact a company like Richard H Keenan Funeral Home. Some funeral homes offer package services for military funerals and have the resources necessary to ensure the deceased is honored in the proper way.