Funeral Photography |Arlington National Cemetery

Funeral Photography | Arlington National Cemetery | Honoring Veterans | Pamela Kay Photography

Memorial Day, 2020

This morning, Memorial Day, 2020, the President’s daily schedule shows he will visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath and honor the fallen soldiers. I am thinking about what Memorial Day means today and remembering a funeral photography session at Arlington National Cemetery.

A decorated war Veteran

To visit this cemetery is an honor in and of itself. A client asked me to be “the” photographer for her grandfather’s funeral. A decorated war Veteran, he was being buried at the nation’s most famous military cemetery in the United States, Arlington National Cemetery. This was my first funeral photography session.

soldiers folding American flag at Arlington National Cemetery

Every single detail is important

soldiers handing folded American flag to Veteran's wife at Arlington National Cemetery funeral
Every detail is important

I said, “Of course, and honor”.  This answer was easy. She needed a photographer. I did not want to let their family down. Having visited the cemetery many times, I knew the importance of every detail. The soldiers who perform the funeral ceremonies train for months. It is an honor to serve here and perform this work.

Protocol here is everything. Showing respect in every detail is demanded. The weather was beautiful. The ceremony went exactly as planned. It was a moving ceremony which honored the Veteran. He was laid to rest forever among the other soldiers.

Perfectly aligned tombstones

Every tree was in its own phase of early fall colors and brilliant across the vast landscape of grave markers. I stayed on the grounds long after the family left. I enjoyed seeing the beauty and formality of the perfectly aligned tombstones. The little dog who lost his best friend seemed to know he was there to say goodbye.

grey Terrier dog wearing a red vest
Veteran’s dog attending the ceremony

I have been fortunate to live and work in the Washington DC area. It has allowed me to visit Arlington National Cemetery many times. Memorial Day is the most celebrated day, with flags marking every single soldier’s tombstone.

An honor to participate

Arlington National is considered the most hallowed ground in America. I am respectful every time I visit. I am grateful to the client who allowed me the honor to participate in providing photography they will cherish for generations.

Soldiers marching in formation at Arlington National Cemetery funeral
Soldiers in funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery


Today is a beautiful day. People have gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to honor these soldiers. Many people came to lay flags on tombstones as is the custom every year. The President lays a wreath and honors these soldiers. America is grateful.

Pamela Kay, Photographer

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