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Old 09-02-2018, 03:48 PM
 
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Excuse me if this is a dumb question, but I was watching John McCain's funeral and was puzzling over this. As you know if you watched it, it was a very carefully planned event. And it was mentioned how there were very notable people as pallbearers, such as Biden and Bloomberg. But I thought pallbearers were supposed to carry the coffin - and in this case, the coffin was carried by young military guys and the official (older) pallbearers walked behind, and then were ushered into a separate area.

So...?
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cida View Post
Excuse me if this is a dumb question, but I was watching John McCain's funeral and was puzzling over this. As you know if you watched it, it was a very carefully planned event. And it was mentioned how there were very notable people as pallbearers, such as Biden and Bloomberg. But I thought pallbearers were supposed to carry the coffin - and in this case, the coffin was carried by young military guys and the official (older) pallbearers walked behind, and then were ushered into a separate area.

So...?
In some cases, especially for elderly, very important people they will have honorary pall bearers and the actual pallbearers who really carry the casket. Both are roles of honor.

I have also seen it once for an elderly man, who had his very elderly brothers, BILs and close friends as honorary pall bearers (as these 75 to 85 year old men certainly could not carry a casket). I recall that one was in a wheelchair and another used a walker. In that case, much younger grandchildren, grand-nephews, and other young relatives actually carried the casket.

At another funeral that I attended, the woman had her three daughters, and grand-daughters as honorary pallbearers. The actual casket was carried by several employees of the funeral home and her son-in-laws.
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Pie shape
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At my grandmother's funeral, the idea was that several of us grandchildren would serve as the pallbearers, with the casket being rolled on a cart.

Well. There was a miscommunication. We had to carry the casket and several of us were women in heels - I am amazed we didn't drop my poor grandmother.
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Old 09-07-2018, 04:11 PM
 
Location: In the land beyond Ohare!
430 posts, read 219,668 times
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It was a state/military funeral so the soldiers do the heavy lifting, as it were. The honorary pallbearers are a recognition by the the deceased and/or family of their importance to the deceased. Very normal and appropriate under the circumstances.



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stat..._United_States
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