Well intentioned rules and regulations need to be thought through, clarified



Well-intentioned rules and regulations are put into place by organizations.  Sometimes, however, like America has found out with the disastrous “de-fund the police” movement, the results are not what the organizers intended them to be.


I think it is a little like that with the new dictate that the Veterans Administration has previewed that entails giving an urn and memorial plaque to the family of each deceased veteran that wishes to receive one.  With the fact that only about 3 in 10 cremations are memorialized with an earth burial of the cremated remains, I believe that the VA has offered these urns as places of final rest for the veterans who they believe will be memorialized, at least for the time being, in a home, rather than placed in a cemetery.


However, the National Funeral Directors Association and the Minnesota Department of Veteran’s Affairs have voiced opposition to this new proposal.  It is their contention that there is a “clause” in the wording of the urn/plaque choice that would then limit a veteran’s family of further memorialization choices.


That clause, according to those groups and as mentioned in this article from The Vets Portal is this,  “. . .the veteran’s remains cannot be placed in a national cemetery if a family member chooses to receive an urn or plaque. Furthermore, no additional grave monument will be provided by the VA for any cemetery. “


Those groups then argue that “Veterans should not (be denied) the substantial advantage of burial in a national cemetery, which also offers permanent care, because of the comparatively modest cost of these goods.”


Funeral Director Daily take:  I haven’t been on top of this issue, but offering an urn and plaque as a benefit to families of deceased veterans is a nice gesture. . . especially for those who have no intention of burying the cremated remains in a national or other cemetery.  I think the VA understands that there are people who choose to live with an urn in their living room as their accepted form of memorialization. . . .especially for that period of time when the spouse of a veteran is still alive.


However, I agree with the NFDA and the group from Minnesota when they say that acceptance of this benefit should not preclude the future interment of the cremated remains and memorialization in a national cemetery at a later date. . . quite possibly at the time when the veteran’s spouse dies.


I also agree that there will be surviving spouses who choose the urn/plaque benefit that don’t realize they are signing away the future interment in a national cemetery when they make this choice.  And, I’m guessing that over time, if this is the case, those people will be disappointed at the VA for taking away the privilige of being buried in a national cemetery simply because they chose to take an urn and plaque at the time of death.


The rules of this benefit should be reviewed before it is implemented.


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