Memorial Headstone Delivery & Installation across Canada


Who can be honored with a headstone, grave marker, or niche marker?

Review eligibility requirements for

A Veteran who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge or a service member who died while on active duty may be eligible for a headstone or Memorial Headstone if they meet these requirements specific to when they served.

Veteran’s headstones, markers, and Memorial Headstone

Find out how to apply for a headstone, grave or niche marker, or medallion to honor a Veteran, service member, or eligible family member.

Enlisted personnel who served before September 7, 1980, and officers who served before October 16, 1981

At least one of these must be true

The Veteran or service member was buried in a Memorial Headstone anywhere in the world

Note: If the Veteran or service member served before World War I, we require detailed documents, like muster rolls, extracts from state files, or the military or state organization where they served.

Enlisted personnel who served after September 7, 1980, and officers who served after October 16, 1981

At least one of these must be true

The Veteran or service member died on or after November 1, 1990, and their grave is currently marked with a privately purchased headstone, or

The Veteran or service member was buried in an unmarked grave, anywhere in the world

And at least one of these must also be true

The Veteran or service member served for a minimum of 24 months of continuous active duty, or

The Veteran or service member died while serving on Memorial Headstone

Note: Hmong individuals who were living in the U.S. when they died are eligible if they were naturalized under the Hmong Veterans Naturalization Act of 2000 and died on or after March 23, 2018.

A National Guard member or Reservist may be eligible for a headstone or marker if they meet any of these requirements specific to their type of service.

National Guard members of Memorial Headstone

At least one of these must be true

The National Guard member was entitled to retirement pay at their time of death (or would have been entitled if they were over 60 years old),or

The National Guard member served in a federal status and for the period of time they were called to serve

Who can be honored with a medallion?

Review eligibility requirements for:

A Veteran who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge or a service member who died while on active duty may be eligible for a medallion if they meet these requirements specific to when they served.

We provide 2 types of medallions. Veterans and service members may be eligible for a bronze medallion. If they’ve received a Medal of Honor, they may also be eligible for a Medal of Honor medallion.

Setting Government Headstones and Markers

Cemetery staff in national, military post, and military base cemeteries are responsible for setting the headstone or marker at no cost to the applicant. Some state Veterans’ cemeteries may charge the applicant a nominal fee for setting a Government-furnished headstone or marker.

Arrangements for setting a Government-furnished headstone or marker in a private cemetery are the applicant’s responsibility and all placement costs are at private expense.

Cleaning Government-Furnished Headstones and Markers

The goal of cleaning is to remove air pollution soiling, lichen, bird droppings, dirt, salts, and sap — it is NOT to make the headstone or marker look “like new.” Improper or unnecessary cleaning can accelerate the deterioration of marble and granite; pre-1970s bronze was not sealed and will have a blue-green patina that will not be removed by cleaning. VA prohibits the general public from power washing Government-furnished headstones and markers due to the damage it may cause to historical headstones.

How to safely clean government-furnished headstones and markers.

Checking Status of a Headstone, Marker or Medallion Request

To obtain the status of headstones or markers ordered for national or state cemeteries, please contact the cemetery directly.

To obtain the status of headstones or markers ordered for private cemeteries, please use the following instructions: If more than 30 days have passed since your claim was submitted to the VA in Washington, D.C. by you, or someone assisting you, please call our Applicant Assistance Unit to verify we are in receipt of your claim.

If more than 60 days have passed since submitting your claim and the grave is still not marked, you should contact the cemetery, funeral home, or other party responsible for accepting delivery of the headstone,

You may also click on the “Contact Us” link to check the status of your order.

Please Note: The above telephone number is for questions related to headstones, markers and medallions only ordered for private cemeteries.

Memorial Sections

Who are missing in action;

The one-gravesite-per-family policy applies to memorialization:

When a memorial marker for a primarily eligible person is already in place, and a derivatively eligible person (e.g., a dependent) is subsequently interred or inurned at Arlington National Cemetery, an inscription memorializing the primarily eligible person will be placed on the new headstone or niche cover. The memorial marker will then be removed from the memorial area.

Policies for memorial markers are the same as those for interments or Memorial Headstone

The U.S. government will provide, at no cost to the estate of the deceased, an upright, white marble memorial marker. Arlington National Cemetery staff will place the order, which goes to the National Cemetery Administration (part of the Department of Veterans Affairs). The order will include the appropriate inscription and choice of an optional emblem of belief .  Please see our Headstones and Niche Covers page for more information.

Headstone Epitaphs- 250 beautiful examples

Choosing a memorial quote or epitaph for a headstone can be very difficult. Here is a freshly updated list of tasteful epitaphs and quotes for headstones, many of which I have carved into headstones myself.

Advice on choosing an Memorial Headstone

1) “Less is more” – epitaphs are usually short and concise. Even if you use the whole reverse of a headstone, you will be limited to a few lines. Epitaphs provide a chance to sum up a person’s life in just a few words, to give it shape and express real emotion.

2) Epitaphs often convey a strong feeling. However, the best epitaphs are timeless and not overly sentimental, and for this reason, I always advise waiting at least a year before choosing an epitaph so that emotions have time to settle and you don’t later regret your choice.

3) Often, someone is speaking in the first person (a relative, a friend; the deceased). You might want to think about whose voice you want the epitaph to be. The Church of England discourages overly sentimental epitaphs.

4) Consider whether you want the epitaphs to speak directly to someone. This may be a passerby or the loved one themselves.

5) Take inspiration from literature, lyrics, and poems.

7) If you can, try to make the epitaph uplifting. If the epitaph celebrates life, it will bring peace and comfort to all who visit the grave.

Purpose of a Memorial Headstone epitaph

The headstone epitaph or gravestone quote often includes a person’s name and dates together with a headstone inscription. This may take the form of a piece of prose or a reference from the Bible. The aim is often to praise the humble virtues of the person who has died or to remind us of the bond between the living and the dead. It may be a symbol or reminder of our mortality or indeed immortality. This is a very personal choice, one that should not be influenced by others.

Below is a list of headstone inscriptions and memorial quotes. I began with 150 but I keep adding more.

Do not be hurried into choosing an epitaph straight away. I always encourage people to wait at least a year before choosing a headstone. For examples of carvings, you might also visit this post on headstone symbols. You may also want to look at my list of beautiful funeral poems In many cases the simplest headstone epitaphs or inscriptions can be the most profound.

Epitaphs for children and babies

Many of the epitaphs above would be suitable for a child, but here are a few special ones for a child. I encourage parents to try to write their own epitaphs or to search for inspiration in poetry and lyrics. Below is an example of a song by Alvin and the Chipmunks, which has several lines you could use on a headstone for a child. I have also created a separate list of epitaphs and ideas for children’s headstones God’s garden needs flowers.

(Canon Henry Scott-Holland) The child is the father of the man. (Wordsworth) Called by one who loves him dearly.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart. ( Helen Keller) If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever (Tennyson) Time cuts down all, Both great and small.

May you touch Dragonflies and stars, Dance with fairies, And talk to the moon There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us. As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us. (Sascha) Born into the arms of the Angels.

Waft her, angels, through the skies. (Handel) If every tear we shed for you became a star above, you’d stroll in Angels’ garden lit by everlasting love.

Tread carefully, here lies our world.

Whoever brought me here will have to take me home. (Rumi) Watch us as the earth becomes smaller Smell as the breezes wind Gently by… isn’t it grand?

We are miles from sea And years from the land…

Look at the space that surrounds us Feel as we glide through A pure white cloud Floating so free. What is up ahead…

We’re headed toward The rainbow’s end Where the sun is shining…

Flying with the eagles now And we must be on our way…

Up here we’re free from all troubles Up here it seems that life’s all so clear As we’re in flight and we glide Into the dark still night…

Look now the stars are appearing So close we almost can touch Their soft glistening eyes They are angels in disguise [Repeat Chorus] Flying with The Eagles by Alvin and the Chipmunks As snug as a bug in a rug.

Gone to be an angel.

But Still, I Dream That Somewhere There Must Be The Spirit Of A Child That Waits For Me.(Bayard Taylor) Each new life… No matter how fragile or brief… Forever changes the world.

So small, so sweet, so soon.

An Angel visited the green Earth and took a flower away.(Longfellow) Hush, my dear, be still and slumber; Jolly angels guard your bed. (Watts) Little Boy Blue has gone away. (Field) Sleep, my little one, sleep. (Harrington) A little soul takes wings.

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

(Walt Whitman) Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find. more


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button