• What Part Does Heritage Play in American Funerals?

    The United States is a country of rich diversity, and Americans come from many different backgrounds, cultures and religious traditions. The city of Tucson is a good example of this diversity, with residents of just about every ethnic background adhering to a wide range of traditions, customs and religious practices.  

    Having served the city of Tucson for decades, Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery is well versed in providing care to all people, respectfully and skillfully.  

    We’ve been a fixture in Tucson since 1907, although the city was much different in the early days, particularly since Arizona didn’t become a state until 1912. When Tucson was founded, Arizona was still part of Mexico, so Mexican roots in the city run deep.  

    Catholicism, too, was a major factor in the city’s early growth, as missions were among the first establishments founded in the area. Along the way, many religions and ethnic groups have made their mark on the city’s development and culture, with events from the Mormon “Battle of the Bulls” in 1846 to the traffic flowing through to California during the gold rush days. Native Americans have also always had a presence here. 

    Evergreen is proud to serve all the people of Tucson, and our cemeteries feature special sections for different religious groups. We strive to give each unique life the honor it deserves, respectfully supporting families during a difficult time in their lives.  

    No matter what your religious or cultural heritage, Evergreen can help you plan a funeral that incorporates specific beliefs, traditions and personal preferences. Call us today at (520) 257-4831 to learn more about all we have to offer, whether you’re preplanning or have an immediate need.

  • Why Taps is Played at a Military Funeral

    A veteran’s funeral is full of symbolism and reverence, befitting a hero who put country before life and honor before comfort. That’s why a military funeral traditionally features a flag-draped casket, an honor guard and the firing of a rifle volley.  

    But why is taps part of the tradition? 

    “Taps” has an interesting origin rooted in the Civil War. Bugle calls have long been used to communicate with soldiers in the field, indicating times to wake up, eat, report for drills, return to their units and so on.  

    Starting in about 1835, a bugle call known as “Extinguish Lights” was played at the end of the day to let soldiers know it was time to go to bed.  

    In 1862, United States General Daniel Butterfield decided he was dissatisfied with that particular bugle call. He wanted to come up with something more melodious, so he reworked an existing call known as “Scott Tattoo” into the 24-note tune we know today as “Taps”. It wasn’t known as “Taps” until 1891, but under the name “Extinguish Lights,” it quickly became popular throughout the Army, and even the Confederates began to use it.  

    Shortly after this, “Taps” was played for the first time at a military funeral. A Union cannoneer had been killed in action, and his commanding officer, Captain John Tidball, didn’t want to have the traditional firing of three rifle volleys over the soldier’s grave because he feared it would give away their position to the enemy. Instead, he asked the bugler to play “Taps.” Since then, this haunting bugle call has been a staple of American military funerals. When it’s played, it’s customary for those in uniform to salute and for all others to place their hands over their hearts.  

    At Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery, we offer veterans’ funerals with full honors, including taps. If you’re planning a funeral for an honorably discharged veteran, talk to us about all we have to offer, from a complimentary burial space in selected areas to a free bronze Veteran’s memorial provided by the Veterans Administration. Immediate family members of veterans may also be eligible for discounts. For more information, call us at (520) 257-4831 or follow the links on our Veterans’ Services page.