Abrupt Funeral Ending At The National Cemetery - And Response (2)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I would like to thank all the readers who read and commented on the obituary piece I wrote for my brother, Kenneth Stephens. Some things that happen don't need explaining, especially a godly thing.

Today I would like to share another experience with you all that took place in  the National Cemetery at my brother's funeral. After the 21-gun salute and the Taps, his service started. The pastor was delivering the eulogy when all of a sudden the funeral director from the National Cemetery tugged on his shirt sleeve in the middle of a sentence, absolutely causing him to lose all concentration. Then he was told let's go, we have to get moving.

I was shocked this was happening at my brother's funeral. When the pastor delivered his message I was supposed to speak over my brother's body at which time I was going to deliver the band of brothers story I had written. My nephew was going to say a few words as well. Much to our surprise the body was whisked away at the cemetery representative's request.

Needless to say, the next day I was at National Cemetery's doorstep demanding answers. I was told there is a 30-minute maximum on all funeral services,which would have been nice to know before the service started. I have three other family members buried there and never encountered this problem.

I thought I would share this with your readers so this doesn't happen to them. Lane Funeral Home Ashland Terrace did a wonderful job with their part, and I felt moved to publish a band of brothers in the obituary to share with your readers since I didn't get to say it over his body.

Ricky Stephens

* * * 

In January, 2007, we buried my father in the National Cemetery, and we had no time restrictions placed on the service at all.  

It sure seems like in the last few years that our government no longer cherishes those who have served and sometimes died for our country.  A great many Americans and I appreciate your brother's service to our country, and I wish our government's bureaucrats would share our appreciation - at the National Cemetery, the Veteran's Administration, and other government agencies. 

William Parker 

* * * 

My sympathy to Mr Stephens. I have had similar experiences of inconsiderate behavior by Chattanooga National Cemetery personnel. 

I have been saddened and disappointed by their haughty and imperious attitudes and in once instance utter disregard for Jewish religious funeral traditions. 

The men and women interred in the Chattanooga National Cemetery are there because they have done their service to their country. It shouldn't be too much trouble for the cemetery administration to act like they appreciated it. 

Steve Campbell
McDonald, Tn.

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