Expressing Condolences for a Veteran

Expressing Condolences for a Veteran

The Funeral service for current or former member of military requires a certain level of respect and protocol. If you are sending a floral arrangement, consider a patriotic design in red, white, and blue. Or a custom arrangement incorporating the military branch symbol. Also, it is customary for the American flag to be draped over the casket of a fallen service person. In this case, a casket spray would not be appropriate as flowers would not be placed on top of the flag. Consider a standing spray or standing wreath instead.

At a military funeral, you can expect to experience some or all of the following:

  • The American flag is draped over the casket.
  • The honor guard lifts and holds the American flag taut over the casket.
  • A bugler sounds "Taps."
  • The honor guard ceremonially folds the American flag.
  • The highest ranking officer presents the folded flag to the family with a brief statement of gratitude and a salute.

If you ever visit a national cemetery you might notice coins placed on the headstones. These were put there by fellow servicemen and women as a sign of respect and remembrance. Each type of coin left on the top of the headstone for the veteran has its own meaning:

  • A penny left on the top of the headstone signifies that the grave-site was visited.
  • A nickel indicates that the person visiting the site trained at boot camp with the deceased veteran.
  • A dime left at the grave means the person served with them at some point.
  • A quarter means that the person who left the coin was with the veteran when they were killed in the line of duty.

Lia Knight is the host of The Lia Show, airing on radio stations nationwide. The Lia Show includes top country hits, interviews with major country stars, and callers ranging on topics from Health, Military, and Love.