Military funeral honors and the committal service

The Washington State Veterans Cemetery’s staff carries out memorial services with the utmost dignity and respect.

What happens during a committal service for a Veteran or service member?

When you arrive at the cemetery, a cemetery representative will meet you and give you the deceased’s burial documents. They will lead you, and your guests who are gathered to honor the deceased, to a committal shelter. The committal service takes place at this location, not at the gravesite.  The service is limited to 30-minutes from the agreed upon start time. The burial/inurnment will take place before the close of business by staff.

Note: Please be aware that viewing facilities are not available at the State Veterans Cemetery.  The family must arrange for funeral services at a different location if they wish to have a viewing.

The family may choose to have readings by a friend, family member, or member of the clergy of their faith. They may also request to have military funeral honors performed at the committal shelter.  Please inform cemetery staff if you wish to have military funeral honors as part of the service during the arrangement conference.  WDVA staff will coordinate to have the military present for honors if requested by family. 

Military funeral honors include:

  • The playing of “Taps”
  • A rifle detail *Note:  This is both optional and subject to the availability of a rifle team
  • Uniformed service members who present the burial flag

Note:  Cemetery staff will order the appropriate headstone or marker.  These orders take approximately 60 days to be delivered.  Cemetery staff will notify the next of kin once the headstone/marker has been set.  Families should anticipate a delay in setting headstones over the winter period.  

How can I pay my respects at a committal service?

  • Floral arrangements are welcomed at the committal service, however only 2 arrangements may be left for placement at the gravesite
  • Visit the gravesite at the end of the workday, but not immediately following the ceremony.
  • Veterans Legacy Memorial is an online memorial that honors more than 4.4 million Veterans interred in State and National Veterans Cemeteries. Visit to find a loved one’s page and post tributes.

Note:  Out of respect for the deceased and their family and guests, pets are not allowed on the premises.  The use of tobacco or vaping products is also not allowed.

Visit and toggle on MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS to preview NCA Burial Service Videos.