As social distancing rules prevent people from gathering, a group of military veterans from North Carolina filmed a video that will bring full military honors to funerals virtually, Fox News reports.
The group of veterans from Mount Airy, North Carolina, performed a military honor guard ceremony that was filmed. The video can be used by families unable to provide in-person honor guards for funerals of their deceased service members because of the coronavirus.
In the YouTube video, the members fold an American flag, play "Taps" and provide a traditional 21-gun salute.
Rob Luffman, whose late father Bobby Luffman served in the U.S. Air Force, told Fox News he came up with the idea to record the virtual honor guard ceremony after he saw a friend share a Facebook post, asking for someone to play "Taps" at her father's funeral.
Luffman shared that his friend's father had served three tours in Vietnam.
"That was the first time it occurred to me that veterans were not getting honors ceremonies at graveside services," Luffman said. "I had no idea it was an issue. Never thought it would be. It's only an issue due to the COVID pandemic."
Luffman said he contacted local Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations, the Mt. Airy NC VFW and the Pilot Mountain NC VFW to help perform the ceremony.
"I started calling my friends who were in the services, trying to track down any honor guard willing to stage one for a film," he told Fox News. "Finally Mr. Arlis Thomas called me back from Mount Airy and got the group together. We scheduled it and met for the first time to do the film."
Luffman and his friend John Brooks, who are both photographers, recorded the ceremony.
He said he hopes families of deceased service members will be able to find his video and use it to honor their loved ones while traditional military honors are temporarily suspended.
"The film is on the Internet," he said. "All I ask is that the link to the YouTube video be shared so folks in need can find it, and share it with loved ones in times of need. That's all we ask.
"It was the right thing to do, and we did it."
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