New York State Funeral Directors Association

Procession to burial site at St. Mary's in Ebberston. Photo by Claire Potter

In modern days, it seems, the longevity of a burial site varies, so it isn’t really clear if a grave has an expiration date.

Sometimes, construction work leads to a person being disinterred, studied for the sake of science and then buried somewhere else altogether.

Some folks have been disinterred and, to save space, cremated instead.

Silhouette of Sad Woman in Sun

I always thought that I had a pretty good understanding of this life.

At least in the sense of being able to process events that happen to me logically.

That’s one gift that has been given to me through my career as a funeral director.

Father Francis Duffy, Regimental Chaplain of the 165th Infantry Regiment, the Army’s famous “Fighting 69th” Irish regiment, officiates a funeral service for a Soldier of the 117th Field Signal Battalion of the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow Division” March 19, 1918. Duffy spent much of March 1918 officiating for the casualties of the Irish regiment’s first combat casualties of WWI, including the 21 Soldiers killed by the Rouge Bouquet artillery barrage March 7, 1918. The Rainbow Division spent March 1918 under French command to gain combat experience in trench warfare of the Western Front. The division would serve in its own sector as a full division combat force in April 1918. Photo courtesy of the New York State Military Museum.

Editor’s Note: This Clergy Appreciation Day – the Second Sunday in October – takes place during the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War I. In honor of both, here is an article, reprinted with permission, from A Living Memorial, Volume II, Chapter 4, by Colin Baker and Lynn Rainville. From the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Saluting The Work of American Chaplains at the Meuse-Argonne

As long as armies have existed, chaplains have provided for soldiers’ spiritual needs, aided the wounded, improved morale and buried the dead in improvised cemeteries.

Chaplains have served in the U.S. army since the Revolutionary War.

Video: Slaves No More

New York's Capital Region honors, re-buries Colonial-era slaves. Found by accident in an unmarked cemetery, scientists pinpointed their African origin and the community held a wake and funeral.

Video: Family History

Today, resources are becoming more widely available, giving people the ability to learn exciting stories about their ancestors. Find 14 great tips on the Blog.


SympathyNotes is written to stimulate discussion of death and grief. Opinions do not reflect the views of NYSFDA.

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