Its eagle season here in the Ozarks, lots of sightings and photos showing up on social media photography groups . The eagle has always captured the interest of Americans, or really, humans in general. Since the beginning of time. Strong, regal, stoic, and frankly a little scary sometimes.
Indian chiefs wore the eagle feather in their ceremonial headress and decorated the sacred pipes that were used to communicate with the Great Spirit during rituals.
This bird is featured on our coin, advertising, and even in funeral arrangements.
Yes, the eagle shows up at the funeral home too. You can get caskets with an eagle theme, as well as urns.
Eagle Cremation Urns, Wings of Freedom
But the item I see the most at funerals around here is the memorial card, or funeral program. Several services that I’ve been to over the years for men that have passed away, has been this eagle template. It’s a popular choice for veterans.
The image is called On Freedom’s Wing, by wildlife artist, Rick Kelley and features the eagle gliding in front of majestic mountain painted to look like the American flag. I would link to his website gallery, but it looks like it’s been hacked.
The nice thing about this program (licenced through the Messenger company, and available at most funeral homes) is that, in addition to the beautiful artwork, you’ve got three pages that can be personalized with a photo, poem, bio, and service information.
The last funeral we attended, it was actually a memorial service, was at the local Elks Lodge to honor a “missing member”. In addition to the stunning flower arrangements, they used the Eagle funeral program and on the last page it featured the Eleven O’Clock Toast that is an Elks tradition.
“You have heard the tolling of eleven strokes.
This is to remind us that with Elks
the hour of eleven has a tender significance.
Wherever an Elk may roam,
Whatever his lot in life may be,
when this hour falls upon the dial of night
the great heart of Elkdom swells and throbs.
It is the golden hour of recollection,
the homecoming of those who wander,
the mystic roll call of those who will come no more.
Living or dead, an Elk is never forgotten, never forsaken.
Morning and noon may pass him by,
the light of day sink heedlessly in the West,
but ere the shadows of midnight shall fall,
the chimes of memory will be pealing forth
the friendly message —
“TO OUR ABSENT MEMBERS”
Beauty and Bravery. Courage and Grace. The Eagle might be the perfect symbol for a someone in a leadership role. Here’s 3 characteristics of the regal eagle that might resemble your loved one:
Evidently eagles have tremendous eyesight capabilities. From the air, or on the ground, they can spot and target prey.
Flying high and sometimes soaring directly into the storm, the fearless eagle will use the power of the storm front to rise to greater heights and do battle with the fiercest of competitors on the ground. Check out the dual between the eagle and the fox in this previous post.
They Take Care of Family
Nurturing the young, and teaching the babies to fly. Guiding the youth and showing them the survival skills needed to stay alive.
At Urn Garden, we’re bird watchers too and have a whole collection of bird themed urns. Several featuring the eagle of course, but also hummingbirds, cardinals, bluebirds, and owls. We love them all and so do the families we serve.
If the eagle is the spirit animal of your dearly departed, fine. You’ll have an easier time staying on point while planning the memorial service. If you’d like to explore this concept further, we have a whole collection of cremation urns that honor spirit totems. This post, written earlier this year goes deeper and gives a better overview of the spirit animal totem.
source of 3 eagle characteristics: