New York State Funeral Directors Association

Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier in Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA

The Fourth of July is typically a fun-filled day off of work that often entails fireworks, barbecues and American Flags.

But mostly hidden from this holiday’s promotion are thousands of people who died to make it happen – people for whom there is no national monument or memorial. 

Woman searching at edge of forest

When her husband Georg died, Marie Hernemar faced a difficult decision: where to bury him.

She decided to bring his cremated remains to Sweden, where he was born, and where his relatives live.

It’s been more than two years now and Marie doesn’t know where her husband is interred. She’s unsure if she’ll ever get to pay her respects again.

Funeral Directors Elton Harris and Daughter Kendra Harris Constant

When we are children, our parents teach us important lessons about life.

For me, this was certainly true, but even as an adult my father continues to pass his knowledge down to me.

I have worked at the funeral home with my father – Elton Harris – since I was 15 years old.

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.

SympathyNotes Facebook

Connect with SympathyNotes

FB Blue    Twitter Blue

SympathyNotes is copyrighted but may be reproduced with attribution. For reprint permission, please contact Ed Munger.