As a way to show the Nation’s deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country, the United States government provides an American Flag and Military Funeral Honors to its veterans. The American Flag, 5 feet wide by 9 1/2 feet long, is draped over the casket prior to the funeral. A military honor guard respectfully stands at attention during the funeral services. At the close of the burial service, the military honor guard plays “Taps”, a heart-felt farewell to a comrade in arms. The American Flag covering the casket is then removed by the honor guard, folded with the dignity so singular to the military, and respectfully presented to the veteran’s next of kin with thanks, “on behalf of a grateful nation”.
This ceremonial paying of respect is the final honor a grateful nation provides to its veterans’ families. The burial flag is a keepsake to be preserved and treasured for generations. It is a mark of pride and a ribbon of honor to those who served our nation, all giving some and some giving all. It is a reminder not to compromise or waiver from the long road that has brought our country and its people such prosperity and security.