The memorials that Americans choose to honor their loved ones are just as diverse as the population itself. Memorials may vary from region to region, or even simply family to family, but one thing remains the same. Any memorial that an American chooses to use is always filled with love, respect and praise. After all, memorials are a final and lasting tribute to those who meant so much to us during their lifespan. It is only fitting that their memorial be the best that it can be.
Often times, deceased military members are not only honored by the memorials that their loved ones erect, but they are also honored by the United States. The Administration of Veterans Affairs provides those who have served their country with a military memorial. These memorials may be headstones, bronze plaques or flat markers. These remembrances are provided free of charge in tribute to the persons dedication to their country.
It is also very common for families to choose a memorial and use it for all of its members. Sometimes it is the marker itself that is the same. Other times, the family opts to use the same phrase or saying on all of tombstones. It varies, as this a personal decision. This tradition shows not only unity in life, but in death as well.
Religion also plays a huge part in choosing a proper memorial. Christians may opt for a headstone that is in the shape of a cross as homage to their religion. Every religion has its associated symbol, and it is very natural to work it in to the deceaseds memorial. The tradition pays respects to the deceased and their beliefs.
If the deceased was heavily involved in any activity or organization, the family may opt to reflect this in their loved ones final memorial. Older, more established organizations, such as Woodmen of the World, often have their own unique headstone that members may want for their graves. It is up to the family to make sure that their wishes are carried out.
Other times, the nature of the cemetery dictates what the memorial will look like. Take, for example, New Orleans. The ground in that area is lower in regards to sea level than that of other states. This makes below ground burial impractical. To remedy this situation, those left behind have erected above ground tombs and mausoleums. This method of burial has lead to alternative ways to memorialize a loved one that has passed on.
Tombs and mausoleums are not reserved for those below sea level. Many families want to continue unity in death and opt for family tombs. These tombs allow many family members to be placed in eternal rest together.
Cremation is on the rise in the United States. So, many opt to memorialize their loved ones in alternative ways. Some buy memorial benches, bibles for the deceaseds place of worship or even plant memorial gardens. Also, many who have cremated their loved ones will purchase a decorative urn in order to secure the ashes in a fitting container.