New York State Funeral Directors Association

Underwater image of remains of a shipwreck

Funerals for veterans are emotional, symbolic and heartfelt.

They serve not only to memorialize those who sacrificed their lives but also as an expression of a society’s love for those who give their all for their country.

There’s a lot more to do -- we’re about 100 years late in recognizing hundreds and thousands of veterans worldwide who never had a funeral, much less a recognized final resting place.

Partial View of 1855 Census from Albany New York Found for Free through Ancestry and New York Archives and Library Partnership

I probably walked right past my long-lost relative Benjamin several times. But I didn’t know enough to stop at his gravesite to pay my respects.

I’ve been to funerals and visited family members at historic Albany Rural Cemetery many times. I would have searched him out.

I just jumped off a fast-moving career as a newspaper reporter and landed in the communications office of the New York State Funeral Directors Association (NYSFDA). Fitting, I suppose, for someone who spent the past 15 years asking questions that people didn’t want to answer.

I’m no funeral director – but that doesn’t mean I’m unfamiliar with the topic, just ignorant. My senses take over when I ponder what I know about funerals.

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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