Military funeral
Overview
 
A military funeral is a specially orchestrated funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

 given by a country's military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 for a soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

, sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

, marine or airman
Airman
An airman is a member of the air component of a nation's armed service. In the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force , it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank...

 who died in battle, a veteran
Veteran
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..."...

, or other prominent military figures or heads of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. A military funeral may feature guards of honor
Honor guard
An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity...

, the firing of volley shots
3-volley salute
The 3-volley salute is a ceremonial act performed at military and police funerals as part of the drill and ceremony of the Honor Guard. It consists of a rifle party firing blank cartridges into the air three times. The custom originates from the European dynastic wars, where the fighting ceased so...

 as a salute, drumming and other military elements, with a flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

 draping over the coffin
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

. On occasion, deceased soldiers have been accorded military funerals by their enemies (for example, see Manfred von Richthofen).
In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the United States Army Military District of Washington (MDW) is responsible for providing military funerals.
Encyclopedia
A military funeral is a specially orchestrated funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

 given by a country's military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 for a soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

, sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

, marine or airman
Airman
An airman is a member of the air component of a nation's armed service. In the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force , it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank...

 who died in battle, a veteran
Veteran
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..."...

, or other prominent military figures or heads of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. A military funeral may feature guards of honor
Honor guard
An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity...

, the firing of volley shots
3-volley salute
The 3-volley salute is a ceremonial act performed at military and police funerals as part of the drill and ceremony of the Honor Guard. It consists of a rifle party firing blank cartridges into the air three times. The custom originates from the European dynastic wars, where the fighting ceased so...

 as a salute, drumming and other military elements, with a flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

 draping over the coffin
Coffin
A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation.Contemporary North American English makes a distinction between "coffin", which is generally understood to denote a funerary box having six sides in plan view, and "casket", which...

. On occasion, deceased soldiers have been accorded military funerals by their enemies (for example, see Manfred von Richthofen).

United States

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, 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
National Defense Authorization Act
The National Defense Authorization Act is the name of a United States federal law that has been enacted for each of the past 48 fiscal years to specify the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.-See also:...

 mandates that the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 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
Honor guard
An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity...

 detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of no less 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
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

 to the next of kin
Next of kin
Next of kin is a term with many interpretations depending on the jurisdiction being referred to. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, it is used to describe a person's closest living blood relative or relatives...

 and the playing of Taps
Taps
"Taps" is a musical piece sounded by the U.S. military nightly to indicate that it is "lights out". The tune is also sometimes known as "Butterfields Lullaby", or by the lyrics of its second verse, "Day is Done". It is also played during flag ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpet...

which will be played by a lone bugler
Bugle (instrument)
The bugle is one of the simplest brass instruments, having no valves or other pitch-altering devices. All pitch control is done by varying the player's embouchure, since the bugle has no other mechanism for controlling pitch. Consequently, the bugle is limited to notes within the harmonic series...

, 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
United States National Guard
The National Guard of the United States is a reserve military force composed of state National Guard militia members or units under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States. Militia members are citizen soldiers, meaning they work part time for the National...

 units to assist with funeral honors duty when necessary.

Eligibility

Generally, federal law allows for military funeral honors for all veterans who were discharged
Military discharge
A military discharge is given when a member of the armed forces is released from their obligation to serve.-United States:Discharge or separation should not be confused with retirement; career U.S...

 under circumstances "other than dishonorable." Funeral directors will require the veteran's DD Form 214
DD Form 214
The DD Form 214, officially DD Form 214 "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty", but generally referred to as a "DD 214", is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member's retirement, separation or discharge from active-duty...

 to establish eligibility.

Those who are eligible for military funerals and full honors in the United States include the following:
  • Active duty
    Active duty
    Active duty refers to a full-time occupation as part of a military force, as opposed to reserve duty.-Pakistan:The Pakistan Armed Forces are one of the largest active service forces in the world with almost 610,000 full time personnel due to the complex and volatile nature of Pakistan's...

     or Selected Reserve
    Selected Reserve
    Selected Reserve is a term that describes both the members of a U.S. military Ready Reserve unit that are enrolled in the Ready Reserve program and the reserve unit that they are attached to...

     in the United States Armed Forces.
  • Former active duty who departed under conditions other than dishonorable in the United States Armed Forces.
  • Former enlisted
    Enlisted rank
    An enlisted rank is, in most Militaries, any rank below a commissioned officer or warrant officer. The term can also be inclusive of non-commissioned officers...

     servicemen or servicewomen who completed at least one term or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Former servicemen or servicewomen who were discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

Components

In the United States, there are several types of military funerals such as those performed at Arlington National Cemetery, which include and omit certain components depending on the status of the deceased (active, retired, veteran
Veteran
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..."...

, rank
Military rank
Military rank is a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces or civil institutions organized along military lines. Usually, uniforms denote the bearer's rank by particular insignia affixed to the uniforms...

/occupation).

Standard honor military funerals include the following:
  • A military chaplain
    Chaplain
    Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister in a specialized setting such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam or lay representative of a religion attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel...

     for family members.
  • A casket draped in the flag of the United States
    Flag of the United States
    The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

     and as a pall.
  • A casket team serving as honor guard
    Honor guard
    An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity...

    s in a ceremonial role over the remains and as pallbearer
    Pallbearer
    A pall-bearer is one of several funeral participants who helps carry the casket of a deceased person from a religious or memorial service or viewing either directly to a cemetery or mausoleum, or to and from the hearse which carries the coffin....

    s.
  • For funerals of service members with a non-commissioned grade of E-9 and above, the casket is transported via a horse-drawn limbers and caissons. For all other funerals, the casket is transported using a hearse
    Hearse
    A hearse is a funerary vehicle used to carry a coffin from a church or funeral home to a cemetery. In the funeral trade, hearses are often called funeral coaches.-History:...

    .
  • Fighter jets in missing man formation
    Missing man formation
    The missing man formation is an aerial salute performed as part of a flyover of aircraft at a funeral or memorial event, typically in memory of a fallen pilot. The missing man formation is often called "the missing man flyby"...

     by the United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

     may perform an aerial flyover.
  • The formation of a rifle party consisting of an odd number of service members, between 3 to 7, will fire a three-volley salute (size varies according to the rank of the deceased).
  • The playing of Taps
    Taps
    "Taps" is a musical piece sounded by the U.S. military nightly to indicate that it is "lights out". The tune is also sometimes known as "Butterfields Lullaby", or by the lyrics of its second verse, "Day is Done". It is also played during flag ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpet...

    is performed by a lone bugler or an audio recording, at a distance 30 to 50 yards from the grave site while a “Final Salute” is given.


Full honor military funerals include all standard honors in addition to the following:
  • For funerals of commanding officer
    Commanding officer
    The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

    s of O-6 (Colonel
    Colonel (United States)
    In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, colonel is a senior field grade military officer rank just above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general...

    /Captain) and above, a caparisoned, riderless horse
    Riderless horse
    A riderless horse or caparisoned horse is a single horse, without a rider, and with boots reversed in the stirrups, which sometimes accompanies a funeral procession...

    , symbolizing a fallen leader, will follow the limbers and caissons.
  • For funerals of general officers and flag officer
    Flag Officer
    A flag officer is a commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark where the officer exercises command. The term usually refers to the senior officers in an English-speaking nation's navy, specifically those who hold any of the admiral ranks; in...

    s of O-10 (four-star rank), a 17 gun salute is fired; O-9 (three-star rank), a 15 gun salute is fired; O-8 (two-star rank), a 13 gun salute is fired; O-7 (one-star rank), a 11 gun salute is fired.
  • A military band
    United States military bands
    There are many military bands in the United States military. Some are assigned to specific military bases or units. There are also bands associated with each of the service academies....

     and an escort platoon
    Platoon
    A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

     participate (size varies according to the rank of the deceased).


Armed forces military funerals include all standard and full honors in addition to the following:
  • Escort platoons from all five branches of the United States Armed Forces participate.
  • These funerals are reserved for the President of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

     (as commander-in-chief), the Secretary of Defense
    United States Secretary of Defense
    The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

    , the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

    , and officers granted multiple-service command.
  • For funerals of presidents, a 21 gun salute using artillery and battery piece
    Artillery battery
    In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...

    s is fired (not to be confused with a three-volley salute), while all other high state officials receive 19 gun salutes.


When a spouse or other dependent of a current or former member of the United States Armed Forces is buried, the military service in which the primary party served will provide a casket team and a chaplain. No other military honors will be rendered unless the spouse served in the military.

Flag folding

The flag of the United States
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

 draped over the casket is meticulously folded twelve times by a total of six honor guards, three on each side of the casket. The following information describes the symbolic meaning for each fold of the flag. It is important to note that the twelfthfold procedure was a common practice long before the creation of a ceremonial assignation of "meaning" to each of the steps. Such symbolism has been mistakenly attributed to have an integral part in the origins of the twelfthfold procedure. In truth, it evolved as a means of providing religious significance to the ceremony and its participants, and is often requested to be read alongside the folding of the flag at funerals.
Fold Meaning
Fold One Life on Earth
Fold Two Eternal Life
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

Fold Three The veteran who gave a portion of his life for the defense of the United States
Fold Four Humanity's Weaker Nature and the American's reliance on God during both peacetime
Peacetime
In politics, peacetime is defined as any period of time where there are no violent conflicts occurring. For example, the time after World War II is considered peacetime in Western Europe and the United States....

 and wartime
Fold Five Tribute to our Country
Fold Six The state of the American's heart
Fold Seven The United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

Fold Eight Tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death
Psalm 23
In the 23rd Psalm in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the writer describes God as his Shepherd. The text, beloved by Jews and Christians alike, is often alluded to in popular media and has been set to music....

, that humanity might see the light of day
Fold Nine A tribute to Motherhood
Fold Ten A tribute to Fatherhood
Fold Eleven The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Jewish citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon
Seal of Solomon
In Medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic legends, the Seal of Solomon was a magical signet ring said to have been possessed by King Solomon, which variously gave him the power to command demons, genies , or to speak with animals.-In legend :...

, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Fold Twelve The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen
Christianity in the United States
Christianity is the largest and most popular religion in the United States, with around 77% of those polled identifying themselves as Christian, as of 2009. This is down from 86% in 1990, and slightly lower than 78.6% in 2001. About 62% of those polled claim to be members of a church congregation...

, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

.


Often, three spent shell-casings
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

, each representing one of three volleys, are slipped into the folds of the flag before its presentation to the next of kin
Next of kin
Next of kin is a term with many interpretations depending on the jurisdiction being referred to. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, it is used to describe a person's closest living blood relative or relatives...

. When the flag is completely folded, the stars point upwards, which remind Americans of their national motto
United States national motto
The modern motto of the United States of America, as established in a 1956 law signed by President Dwight D Eisenhower, is In God We Trust. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST as a motto for currency first appeared on United States coins in 1864.The 1956 law was the first establishment of an official...

, In God We Trust
In God We Trust
"In God We Trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. It is also the motto of the U.S. state of Florida. The Legality of this motto has been questioned because of the United States Constitution forbidding the government to make any law respecting the establishment of a...

. After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a bicorne
Bicorne
The bicorne or bicorn is an archaic form of hat widely adopted in the 1790s as an item of uniform by European and American military and naval officers...

 hat, reminding Americans of the soldiers who served under General George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

, and the sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to...

, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the United States Armed Forces.

Flag presentation

Thereafter, an honor guard representing one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 will present the flag to the next of kin
Next of kin
Next of kin is a term with many interpretations depending on the jurisdiction being referred to. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, it is used to describe a person's closest living blood relative or relatives...

 by kneeling in front of the recipient, holding the folded flag waist high with the straight edge facing the recipient, while leaning toward the recipient. Depending on the service of the selected honor guard chosen to present the flag to the next of kin, each of the five military branches uses slightly different wording.

An honor guard representing the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 would present the flag to the next of kin by saying:

  • (NOTE: President of the United States isn't an official reference in the Army flag presentation. In this case, the honor guard would say: "This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.")

An honor guard representing the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 would present the flag to the next of kin by saying:
An honor guard representing the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 would present the flag to the next of kin by saying:
An honor guard representing the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 would present the flag to the next of kin by saying:

  • (NOTE: If the next-of-kin has expressed a religious preference or belief, the Air Force honor guard will add: "God bless you and this family, and God bless the United States of America.")

An honor guard representing the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 would present the flag to the next of kin by saying:

Worldwide

  • The British army carries reversed arms at military funerals.
  • Canadian military funerals involve many rituals seen in other parts of the world. The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
    Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
    The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery is the name given to the regular field artillery units of the Canadian Army. RCHA units are the senior units of the Canadian land field force, with a history dating back to the birth of Canada as a nation...

     use a 25-pounder
    Ordnance QF 25 pounder
    The Ordnance QF 25 pounder, or more simply, 25-pounder or 25-pdr, was introduced into service just before World War II, during which it served as the major British field gun/howitzer. It was considered by many to be the best field artillery piece of the war, combining high rates of fire with a...

     gun and limber
    Limber
    Limber may refer to:*Limbers and caissons, a 2-way cart used to support artillery* Limber , a song off the album Aneurythm by the American hard rock band Living Syndication.*Limber Pine, a species of pine tree found in the Western United States and Canada...

     as the funeral vehicle.
    • Muffled drums accompany the graveside processional.
    • The deceased's headdress, insignia and medals are borne on a velvet
      Velvet
      Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed,with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean -"smooth like velvet".-Composition:...

       cushion into the funeral service .
    • Volleys are fired over the grave when the body is interred.
  • Countries in the Commonwealth
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

     duplicate the British military drill and ceremony. The Canadian funeral described above typifies the funerary service.
    • the bugle
      Bugle
      Bugle is a brass musical instrument.Bugle may also refer to:* Contrabass bugle, lowest-pitched instrument in the drum and bugle corps hornline* Bugle , common names of flowering plant genus Ajuga...

       tune Last Post
      Last Post
      The "Last Post" can be either a B♭ bugle call within British Infantry regiments or an E♭ cavalry trumpet call in British Cavalry and Royal Regiment of Artillery used at Commonwealth military funerals and ceremonies commemorating those who have been killed in war.The two regimental traditions have...

      is played as the body is interred.
  • In Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    , Ludwig Uhland
    Ludwig Uhland
    Johann Ludwig Uhland , was a German poet, philologist and literary historian.-Biography:He was born in Tübingen, then Duchy of Württemberg, and studied jurisprudence at the university there, but also took an interest in medieval literature, especially old German and French poetry...

    's song "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" is an integral part of a military funeral. In Chilean military funerals, due to its Prussian military tradition, this song is also sung.
  • After the 2006 Lebanon war, Hezbollah draped coffins containing their dead in Hezbollah flags with flowers on top. They were given a funeral according to Shiite Muslim traditions, then buried in their hometowns.
  • In Indonesia, military funerals are generally given only military members or former guerrillas, Konfrontasi and Trikora Operation Soldiers, especially those holding the Bintang Gerilya (Star of the Guerrilla). Exceptional politicians and Ministers have the option for such a funeral, but most opt for a more intimate religious one.
    • Music is not performed as it is not part of Indonesian military tradition.
    • A 21-gun volley salute is the norm by seven soldiers- occasionally a mixture of armed forces dependent on their career,
    • Honour drill team is platoon
      Platoon
      A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

      -size formation and larger the more illustrious the departed. A good example of an Indonesian military burial is that of the late president Suharto- (although obvious major differences exist)
  • In Poland
    Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

    , the last fragment of Władysław Tarnowski
    Władysław Tarnowski
    Count Władysław Tarnowski was a pianist, composer, poet, dramatist, and translator.-Biography:He was the son of Count Walerian 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.
  • In Spain, the formed troops sing "La muerte no es el final
    La muerte no es el final
    La Muerte No Es El Final is a christian song composed by the Spanish priest Cesáreo Gabaráin Azurmendi, after the death of Juan Pedro, a young man organist in his church...

    ": Death is not the End.

Ramp ceremonies

The term "ramp ceremony" has, since about 2005 and during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, come to have a particular meaning - that of a solemn memorial ceremony for a coalition
Coalition of the willing
The term coalition of the willing is a post-1990 political phrase used to collectively describe participants in military or military-humanitarian interventions for which the United Nations Security Council cannot agree to mount a full UN peacekeeping operation...

soldier killed in a war zone. The ceremony usually takes place at an airfield near or in a war zone, where an airplane is usually waiting nearby to take the soldier's remains to his or her home country. A ramp ceremony is not an actual funeral; the funeral is usually conducted in the deceased's home country.

Images and sounds


External links

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