New York State Funeral Directors Association

Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall

It’s the biggest tombstone I’ve ever seen – thousands of names on glossy, black granite slabs – all representing siblings, parents, loved ones who never returned home from the Vietnam War.

Each name on the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall represents an American who did what was asked of them.

Most died thousands of miles away from their homeland. Many are still missing.

What do you say to your best friend when his father dies? How do you comfort your cousin who has lost a spouse?

And what words can comfort a parent who has lost their child? These are common thoughts for anyone when trying to decide how to offer sympathies to a grieving family member or friend.

Historic Documents Require Careful Handling and Storage

Almost everyone has treasured family papers and documents that record events in their own lives and the lives of their ancestors.

These papers can take many forms and their condition can vary greatly, depending on how the paper was made (poor-quality newsprint vs. strong paper used for handwritten letters or typescript) as well as how it has been stored and handled.

Your goal: Do no harm and help ensure preservation for future generations. Here are a few tips:

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.