When a loved one who served in the military passes away, he or she is usually entitled to a funeral service with military honors. Should you choose this option, there are several ways you can customize the memorial service. Here are a few options to consider when planning a veteran memorial service.
Work with your florist to create patriotic corsages for the immediate family members to wear. They can be as simple as a single rose with red, white and blue ribbon, or you can select a more exotic flower arrangement. These can be passed out to the family members before the memorial service begins. Be sure to have one for anyone giving a eulogy, reciting a prayer or officiating the memorial service.
Have flag lapel pins available for all who will be in attendance so they can show their support of the country, the troops and the dearly departed veteran. You can have an usher pass these out at the door along with the memorial program, or have them available at the podium where the guest book is located. If there will be young children in attendance, pass out small flags they can hold throughout the service, but be sure to let them know about flag etiquette so they do not place the flags on the ground.
Create A Photo Wall
Collect pictures of the veteran throughout his or her years of service as well as personal photos. Place them on a bulletin board that can be rested on an easel, and display the photos in between floral arrangements to create a memorial photo wall. You can also have the veteran's service portrait enlarged and framed, which can be placed next to the casket or urn.
Create A Flag Backdrop
Use indoor flag poles and stands to create a patriotic backdrop behind the casket. Alternate the U.S. flag and the flag from the veteran's branch of the military to add to the military theme of the funeral. If there will be an urn instead of the casket, arrange these flags behind the pedestal holding the veteran's memorial folded flag.
Your funeral home director will help you with all of the military honor arrangements you need for the memorial service, but you can use these ideas to enhance the patriotic theme of the service. Look for other creative ways to honor your loved one's service, such as hanging red, white and blue bunting or ribbons at the end of pews in the church or selecting red, white and blue floral arrangements for the casket. Contact a business, such as Hartsell Funeral Home for more information.