What to Expect at a Military Funeral
We carry out memorial services at national cemeteries with dignity and respect. Find out what happens at a military funeral for a Veteran or Servicemember.
What happens during a military funeral for a Veteran or Servicemember?
There may be a brief ceremony, including any readings or military honors, led by someone of the family’s choice. This ceremony will take place at a special area called a committal shelter (not at the gravesite). A cemetery official will be there to help guide guests and family members.
The family may also choose to have military funeral honors performed during the ceremony.
Military funeral honors include:
- The playing of “Taps”
- A rifle detail
- A color guard
- Uniformed Servicemembers who present the burial flag
Note: If you requested a headstone, marker, or medallion, we’ll arrange for it to be delivered within 60 days.
Learn about Veterans headstones, markers, and medallions.
What else should I know about military funeral etiquette?
People attending a military funeral may:
- Bring flowers, which may go with the casket or urn when it’s taken from the committal shelter to the gravesite, and
- Visit the gravesite at the end of the workday, but not immediately following the ceremony
What happens at a military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery?
Funerals at Arlington National Cemetery are different.
Learn about Arlington National Cemetery funerals.