Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Calvert City Legion offers Rites


The rendering of Military Rites for an eligible veteran can be a special part of a funeral service and it is something few in this area may realize is available.

American Legion Post 236 in Calvert City has an honor guard that provides rites at funerals throughout the area.

Terry Black, a member of the Burna American Legion Auxiliary, said a number of Livingston County veterans have been honored with the special ceremony.

“It’s an awesome service,” Black said.

Richard Page, commander of the Post 236 Honor Guard, said his unit consists of 21 men and one woman. The group has done funerals from Hopkinsville to Paducah and places in between. Most ceremonies, which include the customary 21-gun salute, are held graveside.

There is no charge for the service, but donations are accepted to the American Legion.

“But that is not necessary,” Page said. “We do not expect anything for doing it.”

The unit brings all of its necessary supplies to the grave site, including weapons for the live-fire (blanks) salute, buglers who play "Taps," a flag to be presented to the next of kin of the deceased and the bayonetted gun, helmet, dog tags and boots that are symbolic of a fallen soldier.

Generally, a dozen members of the Calvert City honor guard – all dressed in punctuated military dress – perform the ceremony. It takes two flag folders, seven riflemen, two buglers and a chaplain.
“We like using two buglers to give it an echoing effect,” Page said.

The average age of the members in the honor guard is 74. Page hopes other area units take an interest and form their own team to provide rites to deserving military veterans.

To schedule the honor guard, simply notify your funeral director of a desire to have the service performed.