New York State Funeral Directors Association

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Argh, you left your lunch on the counter at home yesterday.

No problem; you just bought something nearby and you didn’t starve.

But think about all the things you’ve ever left behind: paperwork, eyeglasses, coats, and phone. Hair, derma flakes, fibers, and fingerprints.

And as you’ll see in “The Nature of Life and Death” by Patricia Wiltshire, what you take with you can be equally important.

Spc. David Dorfman sounds taps at a military funeral at the Bicentennial Chapel. The Army Materiel Command Band has increased its bugle missions by networking with local funeral homes and veterans organizations. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Eben Boothby)

Silence and bowed heads often accompany the playing of Taps – that somber bugle call that’s become a standard at service member funerals since it was introduced to the U.S. military during the Civil War.

This unmistakable song was initially used as a signal for troops at military bases to shut out the lights (and go to bed).

New York City Police Officers at the New York State Capitol During the May, 2017 NYS Police Officers Memorial ceremony. Photo by Edward Munger Jr.

NYPD Officer Kevin Preiss and his partner got flagged down by citizens and jumped into action, saving the life of a man who had a heart attack.

Three years later, the pair delivered a baby when a woman couldn’t make it to a hospital.

Both men would be considered heroes by anyone’s standard.

But Preiss’ name won’t be etched on the NYS Police Officers Memorial in Albany, nor will he find a place on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Video: Slaves No More

New York's Capital Region honors, re-buries Colonial-era slaves. Found by accident in an unmarked cemetery, scientists pinpointed their African origin and the community held a wake and funeral.

Video: Family History

Today, resources are becoming more widely available, giving people the ability to learn exciting stories about their ancestors. Find 14 great tips on the Blog.


SympathyNotes is written to stimulate discussion of death and grief. Opinions do not reflect the views of NYSFDA.

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