“This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave”
Each service is unique for us and for the military families. This is simply because it is your day and should and is planned exactly the way you envision it. In the planning stages all details are discussed and taken care of so that your experience is incredibly rewarding. Our only goal is to make the occasion perfect for you: for the events to unfold the way the loved one would have wanted it to be.
Many of our military burials at sea follow an Honor Guard ceremony at a park next to ‘Orion’. The schedule of events are discussed between you and the Honor Guard and can include a flag folding ceremony, 21 rifle volley, the playing of taps, music or readings by the family. Some families chose not to have the Honor Guard which is your personal choice. The Honor Guard ceremony usually takes about 30 minutes and is supported entirely through family donations to them. A ‘typical’ donation is usually about $100 which takes care of their uniforms, weapons, and ammunition.
As you leave the ceremony to board our boat or meet us at a pier, we pass out roses to all in attendance plus food and drinks. . We take the ashes, place them in a basket, cover that with roses and rose petals, and gently lower it into the water.
Whether on our boat or viewing from a pier, all burial ceremonies are ended by our ringing of the ship’s bell and the circling of the ashes with our vessel. A typical ceremony is performed by us taking the ashes, placing them in a basket and covering them with roses and rose petals. We then gently lower it into the water.
You would then drop your roses into the water after each individual’s private prayer. The ship’s bell is rung 8 times signifying the loved one’s ‘Last Watch’. Â The exact location (latitude and longitude) and time is recorded so that a certificate can be mailed to a designated family member as a permanent record.
Some variations of this ‘typical’ ceremony are done according to your wishes. We aim to give you and the loved one a closure vailed with respect, honor, and love.
For the State of California, the Secretary of State and Attorney General, Department of Justice, and Department of Consumer Affairs have awarded a non-profit, public benefit, charitable trust designation to The Last Watch Foundation to provide funeral services to help the Military and their families. We are the only organization in the United States to be awarded this honor. The State has also given us license to perform the scattering of ashes at sea. If a donation to The Last Watch is ever received, those funds are deposited directly into The Last Watch Foundation.