Funeral Directors, Cemeteries, and Current Events

I came across an article this morning that made me reflect that the death care industry generally moves and changes with social mores over time and usually does not let current events dictate change in the industry.  However, once in a while, current events can move change along quick.

While not going into the merits of the current events in our country right now I found it interesting that the Los Angeles Times had a story about the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and the removal of a Confederate monument this week.  According to the report in the Times – the owner of the cemetery as well as the owner of the monument – agreed to move it to an undisclosed location after fielding dozens of calls and e-mails about it.

Evidently, the monument has been in place since 1925 and commemorates the graves of at least 37 Confederate veterans and their families who are buried in the California cemetery.

Funeral Director Daily take:  As I mentioned it just struck me as odd about current events dictating changes in the death care industry.  Most things in the death care industry seem to happen slowly over time.

So, I tried to look back to when I could identify a time where current events caused a chain reaction like this in the industry.  Many historians would probably tell you that one time was during the Civil War when embalming became more popular for the simple fact that it helped bring war dead loved ones home to be buried.

In more current times I thought of the 9/11 tragedy.  It wasn’t abrupt changes but the simple thought of a funeral director taking care of the deceased and their families that made me think of that day.   Last year on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy I had the fortune to meet a sister of one of the deceased heroes of Flight 93 which went down near Shanksville, PA.  When she learned I was a funeral director she told me how many of the families came to rely on Somerset County funeral director and coroner Wally Miller.  She also told me that Miller became the person the families relied on most when trying to get answers.  Here’s a recent article on Miller where you can see where a current event changed his life and his wife’s  forever.[wpforms id=”436″ title=”true” description=”true”]

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