A military funeral is a memorial or burial rite given by a country's military for a soldier, sailor, marine or airman who died in battle, a veteran, or other prominent military figures or heads of state. A military funeral may feature guards of honor, the firing of volley shots as a salute, drumming and other military elements, with a flag draping over the coffin.
Canadian military funerals involve many rituals seen in other parts of the world. The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery use a 25-pounder gun and limber as the funeral vehicle. Muffled drums accompany the graveside processional. The deceased's headdress, insignia and medals are borne on a velvet cushion into the funeral service. Volleys are fired over the grave when the body is interred. Countries in the Commonwealth duplicate the British military drill and ceremony. The Canadian funeral described above typifies the funerary service. The bugle tune Last Post is played as the body is interred.
In Chilean military funerals, due to its Prussian military tradition, the German song "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" is sung in its Spanish version ("Yo tenía un camarada"). The casket may or may not be horse-drawn on a caisson. A bugler sounds the final honors during interment.
When the coffin enters the tomb, a fireteam executes a salvo.If for a general or flag officer, the 1st Artillery Regiment "Tacna" fires a three-volley gun salute.
In Germany, Ludwig Uhland's song "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" is an integral part of a military funeral. It is played when the coffin is lowered into the grave, military personnel will perform a salute.
In Indonesia, military funerals are generally given only either towards retired personnel of the Indonesian National Armed Forces who served in domestic operations or in international peacekeeping operations or retired guerrillas and/or soldiers of the National Revolutionary War, especially those holding the " Bintang Gerilya (Star of the Guerrilla) " order, or to active personnel killed while on active duty service. Exceptional politicians and Ministers have the option for such a funeral, but most opt for a more intimate religious one. During the occasion of a State funeral, it is obligatory for a military funeral to be conducted, preceded by a final religious service before the funeral march begins. A Three-volley salute is the norm done by a squad seven soldiers occasionally a mixture of Armed Forces or Police personnel dependent on their career.The Honour drill team surrounding the burial site is a platoon-size or company formation and the larger the platoon or company, the more illustrious the departed. Prayers are led by representatives of the person's religious faith. Similar traditions also exist in the Indonesian National Police.
See here: Indonesian Military Funeral Video Sample
During the funeral ceremony, the presiding officer of the ceremony reads a message of remembrance in the name of the government and people of Indonesia, as well as his/her chosen uniformed organization in which he/she served, preceded by a reading of the person's life and achievements, as well as of his/her military/police service record (if any). The text is as follows:
In the name of and on behalf of the people and nation and the (states uniformed organization), I, (states name, rank and billet of appointment), together with (states names of co-presiding officer) hereby presents to you (states name of deceased, with rank, number and last appointment held), born as a son/daughter to (states name of father), and who, on (states date of death) in the (states name of hospital/place of death) passed away in the interests and dignity of the Nation and our people, who today is now being interred in the soils of our Motherland.
May his/her spirit be now led on the journey to Paradise and may on the path of Holy Devotion his/her memory and legacy be to us a guide and inspiration.
(date of funeral and place of burial)
(name of presiding officer, rank and billet of appointment)
In Italy the members of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty are granted a state funeral by decree of the Prime Minister.So the funeral follows the protocol of a state funeral, and in particular the six officers in high uniform who carry the coffin are members of the same Armed Force of the departed.
In Poland, the last fragment of Władysław Tarnowski's song Śpij, kolego ("Sleep, friend"),a portion of the larger composition Jak to na wojence ładnie (the title has no precise English translation, but it is roughly "how nice it is in war", with a diminutive form conveying a sense of ironic solidarity) is an integral part of a military funeral, played by a trumpeter. It is also played during state ceremonies. Also part of it is a three volley salute (salwa honorowa) with the firing party consisting of an armed platoon or company.
In Russia the people eligible for the military funerals are the distinguished veterans honorably discharged from service, servicemen killed in action or otherwise perished during their active service, state dignitaries and some other categories of people who distinguished themselves in state service. The ritual include the honor guard, size of which depends on the deceased rank and status and may wary from merely a squad to a full company, which escorts the departed to the hearse and from the hearse to the grave, with a special detachment to carry the deceased's awards. A military marching band accompanies the funeral procession as well, traditionally playing the "How glorious is our Lord" (an old Royal anthem from XVIII century) as the body is put on the hearse and the National Anthem of Russia during the salute after the actual burial. On special occasions the garrison commander may authorise the use of a gun carriage (horse or motor drawn at his discretion) instead of a traditional motor hearse (a gun carriage in a Continental style is traditionally used in Russia instead of a caisson preferred in the Anglosphere). A deceased's portrait is carried before the procession, followed by the funerary wreaths and the awards, with the pallbearers following them. All military personnel presented are required to stand at attention as a flag-wrapped casket passes them. Aside from a flag, a land or air forces veteran is buried with his or her regulation cap on the casket, while naval officers are also entitled to their ceremonial dirk and its sheath to be crossed on a casket cover. Russian Orthodox clergy say a memorial player for the deceased serviceman or woman. At the burial ground, the eulogy is first read, the flag is lowered and the band plays the funerary march as the casket is lowered into the grave, after which a three-volley salute is fired with blank rounds, followed by the performance of the national anthem by the band. An artillery gun salute may be authorised for a particularly important funeral for a general or flag officer.
In Spain, the formed troops sing " La muerte no es el final ": Death is not the End during funeral ceremonies and in all military ceremonies, when the fallen are being honored. The Spanish Legion has an exception: the regimental hymn Novio de la Muerte (Bridegroom of Death) is played in full instead during occasions that the Legion attends.
The British Army carries reversed arms at military funerals. The Last Post and Rouse or Reveille are sounded at the right moment during the rite.
In the United States, the United States Army Military District of Washington (MDW) is responsible for providing military funerals. "Honoring Those Who Served" is the title of the program for instituting a dignified military funeral with full honors to the nation's veterans.
As of January 1, 2000, Section 578 of Public Law 106-65 of the National Defense Authorization Act mandates that the United States Armed Forces shall provide the rendering of honors in a military funeral for any eligible veteran if requested by his or her family. As mandated by federal law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of no fewer than two members of the Armed Forces. One member of the detail shall be a representative of the parent armed service of the deceased veteran. The honor guard detail will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the flag of the United States to the next of kin and the playing of "Taps", which will be played by a lone bugler, if available, or by audio recording.Today, there are so few buglers available that the United States Armed Forces often cannot provide one. However, federal law allows Reserve and National Guard units to assist with funeral honors duty when necessary. On the day of the burial or interment, the U.S. Flag is lowered to half-staff.
A funeral is a ceremony connected with the final disposition of a corpse, such as a burial or cremation, with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs vary between cultures and religious groups. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, and offering support and sympathy to the bereaved; additionally, funerals may have religious aspects that are intended to help the soul of the deceased reach the afterlife, resurrection or reincarnation.
Burial at sea is the disposal of human remains in the ocean, normally from a ship or boat. It is regularly performed by navies, and is done by private citizens in many countries.
A 21-gun salute is the most commonly recognized of the customary gun salutes that are performed by the firing of cannons or artillery as a military honor.
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honour people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition. Generally, state funerals are held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning after the family of the deceased gives consent. A state funeral will often generate mass publicity from both national and global media outlets.
A riderless horse is a single horse, without a rider, and with boots reversed in the stirrups, which sometimes accompanies a funeral procession. The horse follows the caisson carrying the casket. A riderless horse can also be featured in military parades to symbolize fallen soldiers. In Australia for example, it is traditional for a riderless horse known as the 'Lone Charger' to lead the annual Anzac Day marches.
On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. Reagan was the first former U.S. president to die since Richard Nixon in 1994. At the age of 93 years and 120 days, Reagan was the longest-lived U.S. president in history until November 12, 2006, when his record was then surpassed by Gerald Ford. His seven-day state funeral followed. After Reagan's death, his body was taken from his Bel Air, Los Angeles home to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California to prepare the body for burial. On June 7, Reagan's casket was transported by hearse and displayed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, then flown to Washington, D.C. on June 9 for a service, public viewing and tributes at the U.S. Capitol.
Military rites are honors presented at a funeral for a member of a military or police force. These rites, which are performed (usually) at the burial, include the firing of rifles, presenting of a flag and or bugle calls. In Australia and New Zealand a Poppy Service is often held for members of the Armed Forces. This includes a short reading by a member of the Returned Services League of Australia or, in New Zealand, the Returned Services Association, the laying of red poppies on the coffin by all present, the playing of the Last Post (or Taps in the United States and Reveille and recitation of the Ode of Remembrance.
The United States Air Force Honor Guard is the official ceremonial unit of the United States Air Force and is assigned to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington D.C.
The three-volley salute is a ceremonial act performed at military funerals and sometimes also police funerals. The custom originates from the European dynastic wars, where the fighting ceased so the dead and wounded could be removed. Then, three shots were fired into the air to signal that the battle could resume.
Camp Nelson National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in southern Jessamine County, Kentucky. It was originally a graveyard associated with the U.S. Army's Camp Nelson, which was active during the U.S. Civil War and its aftermath. The camp was named for Major General William "Bull" Nelson, commander of the Civil War Army of Kentucky, who was murdered by a fellow officer in 1862.
On December 26, 2006, Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California at 6:45 p.m. local time. At 8:49 p.m. local time, President Ford's wife of 58 years, Betty Ford, issued a statement that confirmed his death: "My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age. His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country." The causes of death listed on the subsequent death certificate were arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis.
A saber arch is a wedding tradition in which sabers or swords are used to salute a newly married couple. The bride and groom pass under an honorary arch of sabers, typically when exiting the building in which the wedding ceremony took place. The tradition is in use worldwide.
A funeral procession is a procession, usually in motor vehicles or by foot, from a funeral home or place of worship to the cemetery or crematorium. In earlier times the deceased was typically carried by male family members on a bier or in a coffin to the final resting place. This practice has shifted over time toward transporting the deceased in a hearse, while family and friends follow in their vehicles. The transition from the procession by foot to procession by car can be attributed to two main factors; the switch to burying or cremating the body at locations far from the funeral site and mainly the introduction of motorized vehicles and public transportation making processions by foot through the street no longer practical.
State funerals in the United States are the official funerary rites conducted by the Federal government of the United States in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. that are offered to a sitting or former President of the United States, a President-elect, and others who have rendered distinguished service to the nation. Administered by the Military District of Washington (MDW), a command unit of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, state funerals are greatly influenced by protocol, steeped in tradition, and rich in history. However, the overall planning as well as the decision to hold a state funeral, is largely determined by a president and his family.
The Victims of Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon Memorial is a memorial over a group burial site at Arlington National Cemetery in the United States. It commemorates the victims of the Pentagon, which was struck by al-Qaeda terrorists as part of the September 11 attacks. The memorial specifically honors the five individuals for whom no identifiable remains were found. However, a portion of the remains of 25 other victims are buried at the site. The names of the 115 Pentagon employees and 10 contractors in the building, as well as the 53 passengers and six crew members aboard American Airlines Flight 77 are inscribed on the memorial.
A military funeral in the United States is a memorial or burial rite conducted by the United States Armed Forces for a Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Coast Guardsman, or Airman who died in battle, a veteran, or other prominent military figures or a president. A military funeral may feature guards of honor, the firing of volley shots as a salute, drumming and other military elements, with a flag draping over the coffin.
Miramar National Cemetery is a federal military cemetery in the city of San Diego, California. It is located in the north west corner of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on the grounds of old Camp Kearney (1917) and Camp Elliott (1942).
Boris Yeltsin, the first President of Russia, died of cardiac arrest on April 23, 2007, twelve days after being admitted to the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow. Yeltsin was the first Russian head of state to be buried in a church ceremony since Emperor Alexander III, 113 years prior.
Thai funerals usually follow Buddhist funerary rites, with variations in practice depending on the culture of the region. People of certain religious and ethnic groups also have their own specific practices. Thai Buddhist funerals generally consist of a bathing ceremony shortly after death, daily chanting by Buddhist monks, and a cremation ceremony. Cremation is practised by most peoples throughout the country, with the major exceptions being ethnic Chinese, Muslims and Christians.
The royal cremation ceremony is the final and most major event during Thai royal funerals.