New York State Funeral Directors Association

Mortuary affairs specialists conduct a capabilities demonstration to explain the importance of properly preparing a United States flag for a transfer case on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 14, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Caitlyn Byrne)

"A body, is somebody."

As a former volunteer with the Mortuary Casualty Assistance Team, Staff Sgt. Kristen Bell developed her own creed for giving honor to our fallen Soldiers.

Bell's path to honoring our nation's finest began after she joined the Army in 2003.

Halloween is a good time to remember those who suffered because they were different

Youths walk around their neighborhoods in costumes collecting candy from friendly neighbors each Halloween.

Many wear pointy hats and black gowns to imitate the image of a “witch.”

Halloween is the one day of the year when witches become popular. So it’s a good time to remember those who suffered the terrible fate of people accused of witchcraft in the past.

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.

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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