Veteran’s Funeral Planning: Celebration of Life

A veteran’s funeral ought to be a celebration. They deserve the greatest honor for their years spent serving our country. A veteran lived a selfless life of sacrifice for their family and their nation, and that life deserves to be celebrated. Making a funeral into a celebration of life can be a very healing, joyful option for the loved ones of the deceased. It can help bring some light and life into a season of grief. Veterans should receive full military honors at their funeral from the VA, but here are some more personal ideas for celebrating a veteran you love.

Consider what they were passionate about, and incorporate that into your veteran’s funeral.

Perhaps your veteran was an avid outdoorsman, an athlete, or an artist. Consider that the ceremony could take place outdoors in a beautiful setting. Perhaps loved ones could run or bicycle in a race in their honor. Or maybe friends and family could create a piece of art together for the veteran’s partner to keep and treasure. The options are literally endless for incorporating a person’s passions and interests into a celebration of their life.

Celebrate with your loved one’s favorite music.

A celebration of life can include any music you like, from soft and traditional, to loud and exciting. If your veteran was in a band, live rock music might be just the thing to celebrate them. Perhaps a bagpiper would set the right tone. Or maybe a soloist playing their favorite instrument can be the soundtrack to the ceremony. The music needn’t be stuffy; joyful and full of life might be just what everyone needs to hear.

Make a memory together.

Some memorable, beautiful ideas might include:

-Releasing sky lanterns or balloons

-Floating flowers in a river, lake, or the ocean

-Making origami peace cranes together

-Planting a garden in the veteran’s honor

-Taking a trip to the veteran’s favorite place

-Write treasured memories on stones to give to the family

Recently, a family friend attended a celebration of life where loved ones went skydiving in the deceased’s honor! Talk about creating a memory that will last a lifetime.


Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory supports veterans by offering a $300 tribute to all veterans for their funeral care. “Our founder Glenn Tharp assisted families with their funeral care continuously for 63 years, except for the time that he served in General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army during World War II. Glenn Tharp received the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his service. As a result, the Tharp family has grown up with a distinct appreciation of the sacrifices made by our veterans. Our family offers this tribute as a way of saying “Thank You” for your valor, honor and sacrifice. We will never forget that we have our freedom because of your sacrifice.” -Tharp Funeral Home