Those who served or are currently serving in the armed forces deserve the utmost in respect and gratitude. Many in the armed forces serve their country and return home, while others, lose their lives in the line of duty. Every loss is a wound time can only partially heal. Following their passing, it is our job to ensure they are remembered, and honored.
When an active duty member of the military services or a veteran passes away, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a flag to drape the casket or to accompany the urn of the deceased Veteran. The flag is provided to honor the memory of the Veteran’s service to his or her country, and to provide a lasting memorial for those left behind. After the memorial service, the flag is folded 13 times into a triangle of very specific measurements, as provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is said that the flag is folded thirteen times to remember the original thirteen colonies. The triangular shape of the folded flag is representative of the tri-corner hat commonly worn during the Revolutionary War, and the stars are at the top to remind us of the United States’ motto “In God We Trust”. You will often see these flags displayed in a triangular wood and glass case, frequently with a custom-engraved name plate and space for medals and insignia.
After the service, the memorial flag is typically presented to the spouse or next of kin of the deceased veteran. If there is no next of kin, a friend of the deceased vet can request the flag from the VA. Some cemeteries have an “Avenue of Flags” where the flags of the veterans are flown on patriotic holidays.
While many families prefer to display the flag in their home, White Haven Memorial Park in Pittsford, NY, offers another option to honor those veterans throughout the year. Anyone who has a casket flag presented to the family at the time of burial may donate the flag to White Haven so that we may fly the flag in their honor for one or more months each year. During this month, the flag is shown on White Haven’s webcam so that anyone with a loved one buried here can virtually “visit” at any time to see the flag flying proudly. This “virtual” visit is a wonderful way for family and friends who don’t live close enough to visit to reconnect with their loved one on a regular basis, and to remember and honor their service to our country.
Serving the Rochester, NY area since 1929, our mission at White Haven Memorial Park is to provide unparallelled service, beautifully kept grounds, and a wide selection of burial options to every family that reaches out to us. If you would like more information, please call us at 585-586-5250, or visit us online.