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“I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the Alter of Freedom.”
From “The collected works of Abraham Lincoln”, edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VIII, “Letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby” (November 21, 1864, pp. 116-117)
In order to honor the memory of a veteran’s military service to his or her county, a United States flag is provided by the Veteran’s Administration, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. The flag is usually given to the veteran’s next of kin as a keepsake after its use during the funeral service. It cannot be replaced if it is lost, stolen or destroyed. However, there are some veteran’s organizations or other community groups that may be able to assist in obtaining a replacement flag.
Veteran Burial Information
- The National Cemetery Administration honors veterans with a final resting place and lasting memorials that commemorate their service to our Nation. Some of these services include providing a U.S. flag, at no cost, to drape the casket of a deceased veteran, and furnishing a headstone or grave marker, at no cost, for any deceased eligible veteran. In certain circumstances, a burial allowance is available from the Veterans Benefits Administration.
In order to find out more about services pertaining to headstones, flags, burial allowances, and benefits for burial in private cemeteries, visit the National Cemetery Administration web site at: http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/cems_nmc.asp
- Upon the request of a deceased veteran’s funeral home director, a new law, enacted in the year 2000 and governing funeral honors, will provide a dignified military funeral to veterans who have defended our nation. “Honoring Those Who Served” is the title of this Department of Defense program which provides for the folding and presenting of the United States burial flag and the playing of Taps. The law also requires a military detail of at least two or more uniformed military persons with at least one a member of the veteran’s parent service of the Armed Forces. The same honors can also be arranged by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration cemetery staff for those who need assistance with arranging military funeral honors at VA national cemeteries.
- Ohio Revised Code Sec. 5901 has created 88 Veterans Service Commissions in the State of Ohio to administer a number of programs for their respective counties. Originally established in May, 1886 for the purpose of assisting honorably discharged veterans and their wives, children and widows, these Commissions have assisted veterans who have met with an unexpected hardship as the result of some financial, illness or injury related problem. These benefits run the gamut of assistance for rent and mortgage payments, to personal hygiene and clothing orders, to medical expenses, to indigent veterans burials. The Cuyahoga County Veterans Services Commission is located at 1849 Prospect Avenue, 2nd Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. Their offices are open weekdays between the hours of 8:00 A.M. until 4:15 P.M. You can also contact them by telephone at 216-698-2600, by FAX at 216-698-2650, or e-mail at http://vsc.cuyahogacounty.us/.