Tag Archives: ashes

Memorial Day: We Remember Our Fallen Heroes

On the Eve of the Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of Summer, we at Cremation Society of America would like to take a moment to express our thanks to all who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our magnificent nation, the United States of America. As we spend time with family and friends during this uniquely American holiday, let’s keep in mind how Memorial Day came to be.

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2021 will occur on Monday, May 31.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Origins of Memorial Day

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.

By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

Did you know? Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. And some records show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.

Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor the dead on separate days until after World War I.

The Modern Memorial Day

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War II, The Vietnam War, The Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Did You Know?

In the spring of 1915, bright red flowers began poking through the battle-ravaged land across northern France and Flanders (northern Belgium). Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who served as a brigade surgeon for an Allied artillery unit, spotted a cluster of the poppies shortly after serving as a brigade surgeon during the bloody Second Battle of Ypres. The sight of the bright red flowers against the dreary backdrop of war inspired McCrae to pen the poem, “In Flanders Field,” in which he gives voice to the soldiers who had been killed in battle and lay buried beneath the poppy-covered grounds. Later that year, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael read the poem in Ladies’ Home Journal and wrote her own poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith” to begin a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to all who died in war. The poppy remains a symbol of remembrance to this day.

We wish you and your family and friends a Happy and Solemn Memorial Day. Never forget.

Please Contact CSA for more information regarding our Direct Cremation services. CSA can also help you Pre-Plan all of your Direct Cremation services to meet your needs. We look forward to being of service to you and your family.

Hand Delivery of Your Loved One’s Ashes During COVID-19

During the past few months, we have all become accustomed to home delivery for nearly everything due to “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” orders. At Cremation Society of America, we’ve received many inquires regarding home delivery of a loved one’s ashes upon completion of a Direct Cremation.

The answer is a resounding “YES.”

It takes CSA 7-10 business days to perform the Direct Cremation from the time we receive all necessary approvals.  Then, in 1-2 days, the urn containing cremated remains is delivered via United States Postal Service Express Priority Mail.  Within 8-12 business days your loved one’s Urn will be returned home to you.

However, some families prefer a more dignified and personal form of delivery: Hand Delivery. We at Cremation Society of America offer a Hand Delivery* service for an additional fee of $100 when you arrange your Direct Cremation with us.

*Please note that our Hand Delivery Service is currently available ONLY in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in Florida. More delivery areas are planned.

When you choose to have your loved one’s cremains delivered by hand, an adult will need to be present at the delivery address with photo-identification in order to accept and sign for the ashes.

Visit us at cremationsocietyofamerica.com/pre-planning/ to begin the simple process of pre-planning today.  Cremation Simplified.

 

Scattering Ashes at Sea Still Viable During COVID-19

With a Direct Cremation arranged online with Cremation Society of America, you can arrange for your loved one to be cremated without having to leave your home yet preserving the dignity of your loved one. Direct Cremation is ideal during these days of pandemic because you can arrange your loved one’s Direct Cremation without ever leaving your home. Also, once you receive your loved one’s Cremains, you can wait until after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted to hold a memorial service for your loved one. With a funeral or burial in the current climate, you don’t have the option to wait for an opportune time to gather family and friends in large groups.

Despite governmental “quarantine,” “shelter in place” and “social distancing” directives, an end-of-life service that you can still arrange is Scattering of Ashes at Sea.

Following Direct Cremation and once you’ve received the ashes of your loved one, you are ready to provide your loved one with the ceremony and serenity that he or she deserves – and most likely requested as part of his or her final wishes.

U.S. federal law allows for the scattering of ashes at sea but certain conditions must be met, including:

  • the use of decomposable flowers and wreaths
  • certain notification requirements
  • ensuring that ashes are scattered at least three (3) nautical miles from shore

To scatter your loved one’s cremated remains (“cremains”) by boat, family and friends board the vessel and travel to the desired location on the ocean. This typically involves chartering a boat with a licensed captain and the trip may last for several hours. Keep in mind that current COVID-19 guidelines will limit the number of family and friends allowed to come aboard the vessel. Further, all attendees will need to practice social distancing and wear personal protective gear such as masks, etc.

Upon arrival at the desired location, your captain will position the vessel boat into the wind and with enough forward speed to prevent the cremains from being blown back into the vessel. Thus, the ceremony and tribute can begin. The ceremony can range from clergy reciting prayers to family members reciting poetry to a few poignant comments and everything in between.

Family members have the option to scatter the cremains if they so choose. The cremains are placed in the water and allowed to descend into the ocean. Cremation Society of America can help you choose a reputable charter service to ensure that the cremains make it into the ocean properly.

Shortly thereafter, the family and friends are usually handed flowers or even a bouquet that they can toss in along with the cremains to create an area of the ceremony on the water. Your captain can then circle the area while the family and friends take photos and say their final goodbyes.

Our Cremation Society of America advisors can help you arrange the scattering of your loved one’s ashes at sea. CSA has relationships with reputable charter services that have vast experience to provide a dignified and touching at-sea tribute to your loved one. Contact us NOW to order a Direct Cremation and to explore our Scattering of Ashes at Sea services.

Please stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. Together, we will overcome and thrive.

Honor Your Loved One: Scatter Ashes at Sea

Direct Cremation has overtaken burials as the preferred end-of-life choice of families across the United States. Direct Cremation is far more affordable and offers families the flexibility to arrange for services at time and place of the family’s choosing, especially when honoring the wishes of the deceased. One example of such flexibility is the Scattering of Ashes at Sea.

Scattering Ashes at Sea has become more and more popular among families of the deceased.  Families are increasingly turning to this type of ceremony to bring peace and closure to the family in a serene and soothing environment.

Following the cremation and once you’ve received the ashes of your loved one, you are ready to provide your loved one with the ceremony and serenity that he or she deserves – and most likely requested as part of his or her final wishes.

U.S. federal law allows for the scattering of ashes at sea but certain conditions must be met, including:

  • the use of decomposable flowers and wreaths
  • certain notification requirements
  • ensuring that ashes are scattered at least three (3) nautical miles from shore

To scatter your loved one’s cremated remains (“cremains”) by boat, family and friends board the vessel and travel to the desired location on the ocean. This typically involves chartering a boat with a licensed captain and the trip may last for several hours.

Upon arrival at the desired location, your captain will position the vessel boat into the wind and with enough forward speed to prevent the cremains from being blown back into the vessel. Thus, the ceremony and tribute can begin. The ceremony can range from clergy reciting prayers to family members reciting poetry to a few poignant comments and everything in between.

Family members have the option to scatter the cremains if they so choose. The cremains are placed in the water and allowed to descend into the ocean. Cremation Society of America can help you choose a reputable charter service to ensure that the cremains make it into the ocean properly.

Shortly thereafter, the family and friends are usually handed flowers or even a bouquet that they can toss in along with the cremains to create an area of the ceremony on the water. Your captain can then circle the area while the family and friends take photos and say their final goodbyes.

Our Cremation Society of America advisors can help you arrange the scattering of your loved one’s ashes at sea. CSA has relationships with reputable charter services that have vast experience to provide a dignified and touching at-sea tribute to your loved one. Contact us NOW to order a Direct Cremation and to explore our Scattering of Ashes at Sea services.

Hand Delivery of Your Loved One’s Ashes

At Cremation Society of America, we’re often asked by the families we serve, how long will it be for their loved one’s ashes or “cremains” are returned to them after the Direct Cremation process is complete. It takes CSA 7-10 business days to perform the cremation from the time we receive all necessary approvals.  Then in 1-2 days, the urn containing cremated remains is delivered via United States Postal Service Express Priority Mail.  Within 8-12 business days your loved one’s Urn will be returned home to you.

However, some families prefer a more dignified and personal form of delivery: Hand Delivery. We at Cremation Society of America offer a Hand Delivery* service for an additional fee of $100 when you arrange your Direct Cremation with us.

*Please note that our Hand Delivery Service is currently available ONLY in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in Florida. More delivery areas are planned.

When you choose to have your loved one’s cremains delivered by hand, an adult will need to be present at the delivery address with photo-identification in order to accept and sign for the ashes.

Visit us at cremationsocietyofamerica.com/pre-planning/ to begin the simple process of pre-planning today.  Cremation Simplified.

 

Direct Cremation Basics

We at Cremation Society of America are often asked what is a Direct Cremation and why Direct Cremations have become the preferred choice of an ever-increasing number of Americans.

Direct Cremation is not just about cost savings. It’s well-established that Direct Cremation is much more affordable than burial – and the cost gap will only widen as time goes on. However, Direct Cremation enjoys other benefits when compared to burial:

  • Acceptance by Many Faiths and Religions: With few exceptions, most faiths and religions have embraced Cremation as an acceptable service for loved ones. The dignity and reverence for loved ones as part of a sanctioned religious ceremony is often the primary concern of families after the passing of a loved one. Cremation is an option for such ceremonies.
  • Flexibility: By choosing Cremation, you avoid the stresses of scheduling your service around the logistics inherent to burials such as the gravesite itself, motorcade/escort, etc. Cremation enables you to literally schedule your service at the time and place of your choosing, including a “Destination Service” in the locale that your loved one truly enjoyed. This includes burial at sea.
  • Distributed Presence of Loved One: Whereas burial in a cemetery requires family in friends to visit the site to pay respects to a loved one, a family can distribute ashes to multiple family members in a solemn way so that the loved one can be in constant remembrance. Decorative Keepsake Urns often become moving tributes to the loved one. In addition, many families are spread across the United States in pursuit of careers and some family members may be unable to travel to the ceremony. Cremation enables multiple ceremonies to be performed so that no family member is prevented from paying respects.

Why Choose Cremation Society of America?

Cremation Society of America (“CSA”) is your trusted provider of Cremation services. Since we at CSA focus solely on Cremation – and leave funerals, burials and ceremonies to others – we can offer cost-effective Cremation services without sacrificing the dignity or solemnity of your love one.

We offer the most efficient online process in the industry as well as 24 x 7 Cremation Consultants who are ready to answer any and all questions during such a troubling time for your family.

Please Contact CSA for more information regarding our Direct Cremation services and our industry-leading identification protocols to provide you with peace of mind. CSA can also help you Pre-Plan all of your Direct Cremation services to meet your needs. We look forward to being of service to you and your family.

Scattering Ashes at Sea

Scattering ashes at sea has become more and more popular among families of the deceased.  This type of ceremony is considered by many to be much more natural and soothing for your loved ones versus traditional, terrestrial burials.

Shortly following the cremation and receipt of the ashes, you are ready to provide your loved one with the ceremony and serenity that he or she deserves – and most likely requested with his or her final wishes.

U.S. federal law allows for the scattering of ashes at sea but certain conditions must be met, including: the use of decomposable flowers and wreaths; certain notification requirements; ensuring that ashes are scattered at least three (3) nautical miles from shore; and others.

To scatter your loved one’s cremated remains (“cremains”) by boat, family and friends board the vessel and travel to the desired location on the ocean. This typically involves chartering a boat with a licensed captain and the trip may last for several hours.

Upon arrival at the desired location, the captain will position the vessel boat into the wind and with enough forward speed to prevent the cremains from being blown back into the vessel. The ceremony and tribute can begin. The ceremony can range from clergy reciting prayers to Family members reciting poetry to a few poignant comments and everything in between.

Family members have the option to scatter the cremains if they so choose. The cremains are placed in the water and allowed to descend into the ocean. Cremation Society of America can help you to choose a reputable charter service to ensure that the cremains make it into the ocean properly.

Shortly thereafter, the Family and friends are usually handed flowers or even a bouquet that they can toss in along with the cremains to create an area of the ceremony on the water. The captain can then circle the area while the Family and friends take photos and say their final goodbyes.

With the Cremation Society of America Package One, our advisors can help you arrange to scatter your loved one’s ashes at sea. CSA has relationships with reputable charter services that have vast experience to provide a dignified and touching at-sea tribute to your loved one.