Does this happen everywhere?

I swear next week I’ll write about non-funeral shit but I was wondering about something….

In the tiny town I’m from everyone in the funeral procession turns on their running lights from the funeral home to the cemetery and all the cops stops traffic to let the mourners run all the traffic lights and stop signs and everyone who sees you has to pull their car over on the shoulder of the road and sits quietly until everyone has passed, as if people in mourning were too dangerous to be trusted to drive near us. It’s a very sweet tradition ( and sort of cool because you’re mourning but you also get to run red lights and that’s a nice consolation prize) but since I’ve moved to bigger towns I never see people pull over for funerals.

Does this happen in your town?

587 replies. read them below or add one

  1. I live just north of Birmingham, AL, and yeah, we do this.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes. Southern thing?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is definitely not something that happens in my city (1.2 million people) in Canada. Some people will politely let a procession go by unbroken when they are on a thoroughfare, but the police are never involved!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve seen it happen in various cities in Australia I’ve lived in. I don’t see too many people pulling over these days, but the lights on for the procession is still a thing.
    I hope you and Victor and Hailey are okay.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. 5
    ocularnervosa

    It happens in my stinky little town. There is also a ladies origination that handles the get together afterwords so the family doesn’t have to do it

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 6
    halfsicilian

    Yes, it happens in Panama City, FL as well. It is a sweet tribute.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 7
    halfsicilian

    Thinking of you and your family – you are loved.

    Like

  8. Nope, AFAIK it’s just a small town thing. It would be kinda bananas in a city… Hundreds of people would be affected multiple times per day.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 9
    Elizabeth Jones

    Yes in bigger places it is to remind stray cars not intermingled

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yes. definitely, even on divided highways. Minimally, most cards slow down, but many still stop until the procession has gone by. Across Alabama.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I live in Windsor, ON and some people do it and others do not. The running of the lights does get to happen though. We all put our hazards on and run lights and stop signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It happens in my town and I just thought it happened everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Happens in KCMO, too. and of course, in the surrounding agri-towns and suburbs.

    if you were raised right, you don’t cut in line, either!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. 14
    MistressMousey

    I’m in San Francisco and I see this. If you’re part of a procession you get a nifty “FUNERAL” sign on your dash and people pull over, and let you have a whole lane. Not sure if this is law or just courtesy or what. But I don’t think it’s just a small town thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Yes, it’s the respectful thing to do, I think.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Not a thing in Germany AFAIK

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 17
    Sarah Trowbridge

    It still happens in good old Lawrence, KS 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I remember that from the small town I grew up in. Thanks! I had forgotten the caring nature of small towns.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 19
    Lynda aka FishWithSticks

    I’m in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles County) and yes. But you have to request it and pay for the sheriff’s Officer or LAPD to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Not on such a scale, but nearer the cemetery yes. And I live in the San Fernando Valley so that’s saying something. Unless it’s a law enforcement funeral, then watch out. We take that shit seriously here. Shut down roads, fire truck salutes, bagpipes.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I’ve seen it in wi, not in a while. Luke I remember it when I was a child. But I haven’t seen it lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Yes we do this in Minnesota. It’s an etiquette thing that people are not really taught much anymore. It’s considered very rude to break up the funeral procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yes in Pittsburgh area of PA. I don’t think I’ve seen people pull over but they will wait for the entire procession to go through. Maybe there’s only police escort for larger funerals IDK

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 24
    A Nony Mouse

    I grew up in a small Texas town so I saw that all the time. I am in a much larger city in Oklahoma and I’ve seen it once or twice in the 29 years I’ve lived here. So…I guess it’s sort of a (pardon the expression) dying custom in other areas.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. It used to happen when I was growing up, but I don’t see many pulling to the side anymore. Most seem annoyed that they can’t go through the light because of the motorcade.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pretty sure everywhere in NE that’s the norm

    Liked by 1 person

  27. It happened where I grew up, and then I didn’t see it for decades when I was moving around the country. Then I moved to New Orleans and they do funerals UP there, so yeah- they did that.

    See also Smokey and the Bandit.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. It’s at least a Texas thing. We do it in Austin.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Other cars don’t pull over. But typically a cop car/motorcycle will lead the procession to block off intersections and keep the procession moving to its destination. I’m from North Eastern Ohio.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I live in Georgia and it doesn’t matter, small or big, traffic stops and waits for a funeral procession to pass. I’m sorry for your loss, but you wrote about it so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Yes, and even in larger cities. When my Grandma was buried, everyone in the procession had their headlights on, and people on the Interstate cleared the lane for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. They still do it in New Jersey. When I went home for my mom’s funeral last year, I was in a car with my sister and brother-in-law on the way to the church when my bro-in-law decided to take a different route than that of the procession. Everyone behind him followed, not realizing he was very familiar with the area and was leading them through so many back roads and parking lot short cuts that about half the people behind us never got to the funeral. Mom would have found that funny and hence, so did I.

    Liked by 1 person

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  33. 33
    Maggie Dempsey

    I’ve felt like an asshole on more than one occasion who beeped at “traffic” that ended up being a funereal procession. So yes, it’s a tradition lots of other places, and a wonderful one.

    I always thought of it as marching in one last parade.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Yep. People even get out of their cars and take off their hats. San Angelo still considers itself a small town.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. In smaller towns in Canada it does for sure. In larger cities it only happens if it’s a dignitary or someone well known. Imagine moving from a small town and pulling over for a funeral in a city. People were not happy. I learned quick.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Happens in Minnesota. The running of the streetlight though can be dependent on the roadway, the day, the time, and likely the number of cars in the funeral procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Way back when but not anymore. I lived in a small town then and in a city now.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. 38
    DeAnn Seneff

    It was done in Indiana where I was raised and it’s done here in Phoenix.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. We used to live in San Jose California a few blocks from a cemetery, and this was done all the time.
    Mourners also got a sticker/flyer to stick in their back window that said “Funeral”. But there was also a police procession and people would pull over until everyone passed.
    It might just depend on the cemetery and if they provide that as an option

    Liked by 1 person

  40. It happens in Indiana.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. We do that in the Northeast as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I live in Wisconsin, also a smaller town, and typically here we put on our hazard lights (the flashing ones) and drive that way. People are supposed to pull over and let the procession through and usually they do. Is it just a small town thing maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Omaha Nebraska population 500,000….. we don’t pull over cuz its not an ambulance that needs to pass but yes we stop and allow the funeral procession to go through first. Sometimes they have police escort but usually its a “funeral escort car” from the funeral home.They drive ahead first and pull into intersection to stop traffic and people just stop. Its usually short so although I can understand how its respectful, its not considered needed in bigger city cuz in less than 5 min the cars will have passed

    Liked by 1 person

  44. 44
    Misty Massey

    Absolutely, yes. I live in a middle-sized city in South Carolina, and this always happens.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. I always thought the reason for this is so the mourners from out of toe don’t get lost on the way to the gravesite (and then maybe miss the burial). I was just at a funeral and burial yesterday where this was not done, and one of the people I was with was lamenting how it would have been done in her small home town. At any rate, with the prevalence of GPS it doesn’t seem as useful any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. I should note our city population is 107,000.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. In my small town, it is a very sacred ritual. If you’re standing on a sidewalk, you stop and wait until the entire processional has gone by with the men removing their hats. If it’s a veteran or a fallen hero, you place your hand over heart or you salute. I also grew up near the cemetery, so I often would be impacted by the beauty of the processional, watching the hearse followed by the limo and the number of cars. I would write beautiful stories about their lives as the deceased took their final trip, knowing that this was for the living and not the dead. If the processional was short, I tried to think that the person who passed was the last of a family and they were going to meet their huge family at the pearly gates. As I’ve grown my ideas of the afterlife has changed but not the respect given to those that mourn. Even living in a huge city, I still pull over, when I can and not cause an accident, as my way of showing respect to those who lives are irrevocably changed.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. The only people who do not pull over (safely) for funeral processions are rude AHoles! I see it in big and small towns here in Texas. It should be a reflex- like saying Bless You when someone sneezes or Thank You when someone holds the door for you. It is just good manners and decent kindness!

    Liked by 1 person

  49. We used to do exactly this but since the population got over a million I haven’t seen it

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Yes. They still do it here (for the most part). Our town isn’t so small anymore, but most people do this. I’m in Baytown, which is about 30 minutes east of Houston.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. I grew up in a tiny town in SW Minnesota and yes, they do it here, too. Funny, I always wondered the same thing about other areas of the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 52
    Amanda Haynes

    It happens here in East Texas (small town) and it also happened in bigger city Houston suburb when I lived there.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 53
    Leslie OBrien

    I’m from San Diego and this used to happen. Don’t see it much anymore unless it’s a large procession but I think local police are notified so they can prepare.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. In my 800-person hometown, when there are enough people on the road, this happens. Since I’ve moved to the DC area? Nope! I’ve seen people cut in and out of marked processions.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 55
    Birgit Fisher

    I live near Houston and they do this in and outside of city limits. I always thought it’s done to keep the funeral procession together. Maybe not everyone in the procession is familiar with the route because of out of town family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. I’m in Mississippi, and people do this in large and small towns. Only place it might not happen is on the Interstate.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. And thankfully, I see many more pulling over than not. There are lots of good folks left in the world 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  58. I think it happens in small towns still, but here in the big city, not so much, especially since they sometimes end up on the freeway.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. I’m not sure about my town. My family isn’t religious so we have always had a service at the funeral parlour which is less than a mile away from the cemetery.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. I grew up in the twin cities in Minnesota and yes they do it back there. Also here in Washington I’ve seen it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. From near Denver yes, this is common.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. I live in San Diego and I’ve only ever encountered a funeral procession on the freeway. I can assure you, no one pulled over (because… yanno… freeway), but most people did try to stay out of their way. Except for us, because they were blocking our exit, so we just cut right through them like disrespectful heretics.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Yes in small town Indiana (where my grandparents funerals were) but not in any of the cities I’ve lived in (Chicago, New York, Los Angeles).

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Not just a Southern thing or a small-town thing; it’s standard practice in the Midwest, too. We will also bring you a casserole after the funeral with our name on the bottom of the dish. I do that here in Texas and sometimes people look at me funny, but I attribute that to a lack of home training. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  65. I’m from SC, living in WI. I have not seen it done here, although it’s so ingrained in me that I still do it. And people definitely do it in my hometown. I’ve also noticed in some of the larger Midwestern cities that people don’t get out of the way of emergency services vehicles, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. I’ve seen it in Illinois and Wisconsin.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. New Jersey–of course. You don’t get a cop unless you are a celebrity or a huge crowds are expected. Some people rudely don’t defer to the procession. Trust me, you don’t know fear until you have relatives in your car, you have been cut off in the procession, and you don’t know how to get to the cemetery, much less the actual plot.

    Liked by 2 people

  68. I believe it’s the law in Colorado but most people in bigger cities don’t do. I don’t know why. I was raised in a small town so I know to do it.
    {hugs}
    Sandy/Wynterose

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Suburb of Chicago and absolutely yes we get to run lights and stop signs. That and funeral potatoes are about the only good things funerals have going for them.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. I live in a small town, we do it here. But when visiting my dad in Texas, near Houston, we did it there too. Not a small town.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. It happens in my hometown (small town in rural southwestern Virginia, population around 19,000) but to be honest, I’ve never even seen a funeral procession in the still-small-but-a-lot-bigger university town I live in now (central Virginia, population around 112,000). I’m now thinking that’s incredibly weird – I’ve lived here 19 years now and never, ever seen a funeral procession as far as I can remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. During my travels I’ve seen this being done.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. I’m in Miami and I’ve seen this on major highways. I think it’s a honorable tradition. Hope you and yours are doing well. Hugs❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  74. 74
    Miranda Grasso

    It happens in my town and I’ve been to funerals in other areas where it happens. Twice in cities. I wonder if, depending on circumstances, the family or the funeral home request it in those larger areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Sort of – folks don’t usually pull over, but it’s an assumed rule that the procession remains unbroken so you can’t, like, cut through on your way to turn. The cars will either have their lights on or their hazards going to indicate it’s a funeral procession. I don’t think Car #1 is “allowed” to run lights (I honestly can’t remember) but if the light changes and the procession isn’t all the way through, it’s expected that everyone will stop and let them all go through. This is St. Louis, btw. Fairly good sized town.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Big city Canadian here. Some people will be polite and allow a procession to proceed together (cars will have headlights on, yes). People who get impatient and butt into the line are douchecanoes if you ask me. The police will block intersections if its a dignitary or if it’s expected to be a large funeral. They did this for my cousin and his wife when they were killed in a car accident. They weren’t dignitaries but they were the type of people who everyone knew and loved so the procession was particularly long. I was riding close to the front of the line and seeing the coordination of the police on their motorcycles plus their final salute as we turned into the cemetery was very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. In my small central Indiana town this still happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  78. I’m up in CT and that happens here too .Everyone in the funeral gets a sign/sticker to put on their windshield

    Liked by 1 person

  79. 79
    Jessica Mustain

    I’ve seen it happen in San Diego, CA for larger funeral events. Typically, they may not run red lights or stop all traffic, but there will be a police escort. It’s not uncommon to see the FUNERAL window stickers and the cars with their running lights on.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. It did in my small town. Now that I live in a larger city I don’t think it happens with exceptions for certain people. When my brother passed away they did it for us, however he was a police officer. So maybe that was why?

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Yes, people do this here in Albuquerque (metro area about a million people, so not a small town, though not really a big city either.) ABQ has a serious case of sprawl, so sometimes a funeral procession goes on for quite a ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. Yes, in Ohio!

    Liked by 1 person

  83. Texas girl here and that’s always been the way I’ve seen it done to the point where it almost seems rude or disrespectful to me not to pull over. And the police escort is pretty standard to me, too. When my grandpa died (in East Texas) I even saw a man who had pulled over on the side of the road remove his hat as our procession passed him. I live in Austin now and it seems like some people do it here and some don’t. Not sure if that’s just the town vs. city thing or having people here who are from somewhere else (where maybe they don’t do that) or what. Funny story, when my grandpa died the funeral home provided a limo for the immediate family that picked us up at my grandparents’ house and drove us to and from everything. I was a poor kid and I’d never ridden in anything close to a limo and as we were leaving I addressed the driver with a quiet, “Sir?” He was startled and almost pulled over and said, “Yes?” I asked, “May I call you Jeeves?” And he laughed as said, “Yes ma’am, you can call me anything you want.” And when we were leaving the cemetery to head back to the house I said, “Home please, Jeeves.” He was a super nice guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. In my small central Indiana town we still do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  85. That’s pretty much what happens in Western Pennsylvania and I’ve also seen it in Eastern P

    Liked by 1 person

  86. I am in a smaller town in Indiana, and this is definitely expected of anyone who has good manners. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  87. In PA you wait for the mourners to pass through. But there’s almost always one asshole….

    Liked by 1 person

  88. Yes. My step mother would not shut up about funeral procession etiquette and how people needed to do it when my Gpa died. Most of it was news to me but made sense in a weird traditional way. https://possumscatsthingsgnawingatme.wordpress.com/2019/08/20/when-life-gives-you-lemons-throw-them-yoga-and-axes/

    Liked by 1 person

  89. I live in the middle of the cornfields in IL and it’s hit or miss. I believe, but am not 100% sure, that legally you are supposed to pull over for a procession. Unfortunately, many of those under about 50 don’t seem to know this, or just don’t care. I’m not some old biddy complaining about the kids (I’m only 35!!!), I promise. It’s just that I didn’t know that was what you were supposed to do until I was in a funeral procession myself and I’ve had people get really angry at me when I have strategically pulled over for one in a way that does not allow them to pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. Also, thanks for the reminder… I’m going to now remember to teach my child, who’s newly learning to drive, how to be respectful if she encounters a procession along the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  91. I’m in St. Louis, and we get signs that say “FUNERAL” and the lead cars get flashing lights so as to let people know that a procession is coming, and to not be a jerk and cut through or break the line. Some mourners will stop when they come to a red light, others will just drive through. I don’t see many cops with them anymore, which honestly could be a staffing issue or it could be they just don’t do it anymore (either is likely, our cops are notorious jerks who keep losing people to the surrounding counties).

    Liked by 1 person

  92. We still do that in my not so little town of 75,000. Except for the one jerk I saw recently who had the audacity to cut off the funeral procession and realized too late it was for a fallen police officer. I have a feeling Karma will find him.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. Yes…in rural Minnesota. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  94. I live in Oklahoma and we do the same thing, especially in smaller towns.

    Liked by 1 person

  95. I live in Georgia and pulling over for a funeral procession is considered showing respect and courtesy.

    Liked by 3 people

  96. Yes, it absolutely happens in Stanislaus County, California. You just have to pay attention to what’s going on and not accidently join the procession. Totally embarrassing. Not saying I’ve ever done that…. (definitely not saying that!).

    Liked by 1 person

  97. I guess should have added that this was in southern Ohio.

    Liked by 1 person

  98. Can confirm this happens in NJ. On the highway, people go off to the sides to let the procession through. I’m long since agnostic but I still find myself doing a tiny prayer any time I see it passing on the road, something my mom taught me when I was a child.

    Good vibes never hurt, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  99. 99
    Michael Wayne

    That’s pretty much what happens in Western Pennsylvania and I’ve also seen it in Eastern PA.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. Happens in the big metropolis of Wichita Kansas

    Liked by 1 person

  101. I live in Central Alabama. Here, people still pull over and wait for you to pass. However different counties have different rules about whether or not the police will lead a procession. Some towns, it’s only for high ranking officials. Some towns won’t allow processionals at all. You may have to check the rules in your area. However, I had two family funerals in the last month. Both in different parts of Alabama, and they both had a processional.

    Liked by 1 person

  102. Yes, used to drive a hearse and we often had processions. Now you have to hire an escort (police) to stop traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. 103
    Ross Hershberger

    Yes that’s how it’s supposed to work in Muskegon MI as well. And pretty much everyone complies except my great-uncle Harvey in his brother in law’s funeral procession who stopped at a red light, stranding 2/3 of the procession behind him. And then, leading this confused and truncated partial train of cars, wasn’t sure of the location of the cemetery. It was 20 years ago and yes, we’re still talking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. Yes Western Cook County, (outside Chicago) IL

    Liked by 1 person

  105. 105
    wolfworker

    I’ve never seen it where I live (the central coast of california) but I was in LA once and they were doing it there and I can’t even being to describe the clster fck!

    Liked by 1 person

  106. In the south, they turn on headlights in the funeral procession. People meeting it on the road, going the other way, will voluntarily pull over to the side of the road to wait until it passes.

    Liked by 1 person

  107. 107
    Katie Blaze

    Yes, we do that in Dubuque Iowa. My dad is such a fast driver, though, most of the time we beat the hearse! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  108. From a medium-sized city in Canada and people always stop for funeral processions as a matter of respect. I don’t think I’ve ever seen police involvement.

    Liked by 1 person

  109. Yes that does happen where I am. I think it’s a nice sign of respect from people. Each vehicle gets a placard to put in the window so others know you are part of the procession. From Edmonton, AB

    Liked by 1 person

  110. Lights on and sometimes funeral flags in Illinois, northern and southern, but not always a police escort.

    Liked by 1 person

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  111. If you are a part of the procession you have to have your hazards on from the funeral place to the cemetery. But you usually get to run red lights and what not. If they are prominent in the town there maybe police escorts.

    Liked by 1 person

  112. 112
    Maia Rainwood

    Small towns yes, I’ve seen it lots and definitely let everyone pass. In the larger cities I’ve lived in, they do the lights, but people don’t typically stop to let them by.

    Liked by 1 person

  113. we do that here (midwest). plus, the funeral home gives everyone a little purple flag that says funeral. you hook it onto the driver’s side window. i’ve heard that you can get in trouble if you break into a funeral procession all willy-nilly but i’ve never seen it.

    Liked by 1 person

  114. 115
    Sharon Bower

    Definitely in VA, even in the big cities. I’ve seen it done in Richmond, for instance. In fact, there are funeral procession traffic laws on the books in many states.

    Liked by 1 person

  115. We’ve had cops lead the procession and tail the procession to make sure all of the mourners stay together and make it to the church or cemetery together. Everyone else has to pull over and wait for the procession to pass through.

    Liked by 1 person

  116. I’m from a smaller town in Illinois (12,000 people) and they do this there. The town I live in now (400,000), this doesn’t happen at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 118
    Christina Keltner

    It happens in Houston and Houston is pretty damn big!

    Liked by 1 person

  118. I remember one afternoon last year where everyone was stopped for a funeral procession at getting out of school time. I needed to get my kiddos to TKD, but we sat there and waited for them to pass. That’s the first procession I’ve seen around here, so it might have been a fluke. I highly doubt it was though.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. Yes, Grand Forks, ND does this. Not sure if it happens for everyone or if the funeral director asks for escort but it is very moving.

    Like

  120. 121
    Mary Kay Conley

    I live in the very small town of Chicago, Illinois 😁 and we do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  121. It’s a thing in Pittsburgh, PA, except that it’s the hazard flashers not the running lights.

    Liked by 1 person

  122. I grew up in the Florida Panhandle and it is something that happens there to this day.

    I will say it’s been interesting to read the responses because I always wondered if maybe it was a Southern thing. My best friend in high school was from Wisconsin and she wasn’t familiar with it. It’s nice to see that it is widespread.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. It happens in NC and SC.

    Liked by 1 person

  124. I’m in Oklahoma City and we pull over for a funeral procession. It was weird when my aunt passed, my uncle was a highway patrol officer in the SW part of the state and the route from the funeral home to cemetery required us to travel on a divided highway. Granted there were a LOT of escort hi-po’s but people on the OTHER side of the highway were pulling over too. It was surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

  125. In my hometown of St. Louis, yes. But I’ve been in Southern California for 39 yrs and I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a funeral procession on the road. And I haven’t been to a funeral where we also went to the cemetery in many years.

    Liked by 1 person

  126. We do that here in Phoenix.

    Liked by 1 person

  127. It’s totally a thing here, even on the Interstate and when you cross counties either the sheriff is involved or the state highway patrol.

    Don’t interfere with the funeral procession or you get some serious bad mojo.

    (Mississippi.)

    Liked by 1 person

  128. It USED to happen in Michigan where I grew up (also small town). But I haven’t ever seen it happen in Seattle where I am now.

    Liked by 1 person

  129. Houston, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  130. 131
    Greta Nelson

    Yes, It still happens all over the Twin Cities, MN.

    Liked by 1 person

  131. We don’t pull over because if you are ahead of them you are going faster than them. We do not pull into the middle of a procession tho we wait gravely at the intersection until it is passed.
    Martina

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  132. I live in a suburb of Chicago, and the funerals I have attended do the funeral procession line. We don’t have usually police officers, but the hearse goes first, all the cars turn their lights on, and have a sticker on the windshield that says FUNERAL. The procession goes through red lights (carefully) to stay together in the line. I can’t remember if we stopped at stop signs. Which is pretty bad, since I was driving, lol.

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  133. I live in Ontario Canada btw.

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  134. 135
    Debbie Pugsley

    I’ve seen all that in Tulsa!

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  135. I live in Kentucky, and yes, we do that here too.

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  136. Yep, still happens in small towns in Missouri. I haven’t seen it here in Florida yet.

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  137. Happen in Kansas where I’m from.

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  138. I’m old. I used to see this all the time, everywhere. Now, hardly ever unless it’s right outside a cemetery.

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  139. In Oklahoma it still happens, it’s nice.

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  140. Yes! I live in small-town south Louisiana, and that’s fairly standard practice here, too.

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  141. 142
    Lisa Hayes

    It’s typical in small town Minnesota but I haven’t seen it in my metro city. I think because the cemeteries aren’t near the churches. You can’t block, slow traffic all the way across the city. My hometown has people run their emergency flashers AND puts white flags on the first few and last few cars in the procession.

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  142. In my town (between Milwaukee and Chicago) vehicles stop at traffic lights to let the funeral procession go through. The funeral home leads the procession. Vehicles usually have flags on them.

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  143. 144
    Kate George

    There aren’t any stoplights in our town so it’s kind of a moot point. We all stop and let the cars go by out of courtesy though.

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  144. This happens in my home town, but it’s a smaller town. The only time I’ve seen it happen in the city I live in now is when it’s a cop or firefighter.

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  145. I’ve always been told it’s a sign of respect.

    When we buried my grandparents in Shreveport, LA, we had police escorts that even blocked interstate ramps. The people on the interstate didn’t pull over to the side (obviously), but most did slow & pull into the opposite lane so the procession could go by.

    When my grandfather died on my mom’s side, it was a tiny town funeral. I think every cop from a 20-mile radius was out blocking streets & saluting (my cousin is a state trooper there), and every car we met (even the FedEx guy) pulled off the road & waited for us to pass.

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  146. happens all the time in St Louis, MO

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  147. This happens in most places in Texas too.

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  148. 149
    Karyn Doherty

    They did that for my grandfather and my cousin.

    Liked by 1 person

  149. Still happening in ‘lil old Denver. Running the lights and stop signs keeps the funeral procession together so you get to the cemetery at about the same time for the graveside service. Police have to be involved here, lots of drivers are mannerless dicks and the only way they will stop and wait is if a motorcycle cop makes them

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  150. three million people live in chicago and we do it here.

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  151. It mostly doesn’t happen in the UK. I.e. the only thing that does is (polite and aware) people moving over or stopping for the procession. No running reds or stop signs. It also doesn’t happen in the places I’ve lived in Switzerland.
    And people who are grieving aren’t always the best drivers – in my immediate family there have been 2 car accidents (thankfully both minor) following deaths in my extended family.
    Feel free to keep posting funeral related stuff, it’s important to you, so it’s important to us. Also it’s been good to hear your stories and fascinating about differences in culture.

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  152. People do it in Tulsa. It meant a lot of me when my grandpa died. Pretty much the whole town of Tahlequah stopped for my great uncle’s funeral.

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  153. Yes! I don’t know how to include a picture here from when my Papaw passed away a few months ago the whole town stopped and the fire department he worked at hung the American flag from the ladder truck. It was breath taking and honestly brought me to tears that everyone stopped to show respect for someone I love so much. I think it’s wonderful and everyone should get that for their last ride.

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  154. 156
    Kelly Stoker

    Michigan – yes, we do the same thing here. It’s considered respectful.

    Liked by 1 person

  155. They did this in the small town I grew up in in Utah. When my grandmother died they did the whole traffic stop thing. When my grandpa died the police escorting us and stopping traffic were in dress uniform because they all knew him and what all he’d done for the city over the years. It was very cool.

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  156. Echoing commenter #75 who worded it better than I could have {Sort of – folks don’t usually pull over, but it’s an assumed rule that the procession remains unbroken so you can’t, like, cut through on your way to turn. The cars will either have their lights on or their hazards going to indicate it’s a funeral procession. I don’t think Car #1 is “allowed” to run lights (I honestly can’t remember) but if the light changes and the procession isn’t all the way through, it’s expected that everyone will stop and let them all go through. This is St. Louis, btw. Fairly good sized town.} This is exactly what happens in my densely populated Maryland suburb of Washington DC.

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  157. i moved to north carolina 30+ years ago, from new england. i never saw what you are describing til i moved down here. when i am stopped waiting for the mourners to pass, i even feel compelled to turn my radio down. i’m 61 years old. the radio is 70’s folk. it’s not loud. it’s a nice thing to do, let the mourners travel in a pack.

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  158. 160
    Sara M Harvey

    We did that for my grandmother’s funeral, had the police escort and went all the backroads to avoid trying to keep us all together on the freeway or clogging up the major roads, but the people we passed pulled over (most;y) while we passed. It was haunting in a way. I led the procession and that was a lot of pressure but I had the most visible vehicle (I was driving my dad’s large and black glittery Ford 150).

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  159. I’m from Philly – YUP! it’s a thing. sometimes people just pull to the side and ride slowly along if there’s two lanes, but if it’s a one lane road, the funeral procession has the right-of-way. Sincere condolences on your loss, Jenny. Grandpas are the greatest cheerleaders and friends.

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  160. 162
    Southern MN Gal

    Absolutely! I’m from southern Minnesota, and it goes without saying that people pull over and let the funeral pass by. It’s a sign of respect for the deceased and their families. Love how you loved your grandpa. Grandpas are one of a kind!!

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  161. We don’t pull over, exactly, but people sort of make way. The funeral procession goes through lights, and nobody cuts into it from another lane.

    I grew up in Chicago, and it was the same as the small town where my husband grew up – you went from the church/funeral home, past the home of the deceased, possibly past an important place in their life if it wasn’t too far out of the way, to the cemetery in a procession. Hazard lights and stickers in place to show you were part of the procession so no other drivers would cut you off. You went through red lights if the first car made it through (if they had to stop, everyone stopped, but you didn’t have to leave space for cross traffic). And, if there were pedestrians, they would stop as the hearse went by (and men would usually take off their hats, if they were wearing one).

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  162. 164
    OneVeterinarian

    Here in Barrie, Ontario, Canada we do that too.

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  163. Yes! I take it as a sign of respect.

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  164. 166
    Leann Nassar

    Yes, in the San Francisco Bay Area, we do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  165. In Beavercreek, OH we still do this too. My late husband would chase down on his motorcycle any people who didnt pull over and give them a piece of his mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  166. 168
    Kerry Shepherd

    We do it in St. Joseph, Missouri. A great tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

  167. This happens where I live (New Mexico) and I guess I never thought about about how it might not happen elsewhere; it seems so normal to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  168. Midwest here. I think it is a small town thing. They did it for all my grandparents and for my father when he passed. Everyone just pulls over until it is passed.

    Liked by 1 person

  169. We sure do- I’m from an itty bitty town in northwest Washington.

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  170. Yes, I’m in Oklahoma City, and people not only pull over but occasionally you’ll see someone get out i if their car and take off their hat in respect. It’s good people here.

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  171. I have lived in NJ PA and VA and it has been done. I could be wrong I thought it was a sign of respect and kept the funeral procession from getting separated

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  172. Yes for people pulling over during procession for each of my grandparents in small SE Kansas town; I don’t remember going through any of the few stoplights but I think they did have an escort. It was really touching – that is what made me really start crying actually. Considering I was driving, a ways back in the line, and Car #1 was BOOKING down the road, very memorable.

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  173. It used to be that way in my town (and sometimes still seen if there’s a police escort); but my city has grown up so not so much anymore.

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  174. This is done in Philly, PA and funeral flags or stickers are placed on cars

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  175. Here (smallish town in eastern WA) the funeral home has a couple people try and direct traffic, and most everyone pulls to the side to give right of way. At a larger town nearby I have seen actual police blocking/directing traffic, and people pulling over the same way.

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  176. In Orange County CA nope! I haven’t coordinated arrangements before, but I’ve attended many funerals here. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I assume that someone would have to pay the CHP something in order to make those things you listed happen. Personally, I’ve never seen those things happen here before. Everything costs something in SoCal… parking, respect for the dead, common courtesy…you name it. 😂

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  177. In my hometown, yes. But it’s a small city. Not the big metro area where I live currently.
    It’s the law in most places that the funeral procession gets to run lights, etc, so that people can follow one another to the burial or other ceremony.
    I’ve only noticed people pulling over and stopping in the last few years, even there, though.

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  178. I’m from Palmyra, PA. I can’t say we pull over but we don’t break up precession. We will wait until they are all through the light or stop sign whether they have a police escort or not.

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  179. 181
    Seana Gause

    I definitely used to see this more, and typically it depends on whether the deceased’s casket has to be moved, from say, a church to the cemetery. I have been to funerals at the cemetery, so no procession is needed. I have been to funerals where the deceased is cremated and there is also no procession. I still see the procession from time to time, but it is definitely less frequent than when I was a kid. I’m sorry about your Papa.

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  180. We do that here in SE Tennessee. ❤️

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  181. I grew up in Miami FL and they did do it there. However, now that most cars automatically have their headlights on during the daylight it makes it difficult to know who is in the procession and who is not especially with big funerals and/or in towns with a lot of traffic.

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  182. 184
    Sandra Williams

    Augusta, GA – Yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  183. Columbus, OH. Did this for the last three funerals I’ve been to.

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  184. I think it’s a small town thing. When my cousin died, this happened. (He lived in a little town in Central Florida.) I live in Ft. Lauderdale. People turn on their lights if they are in the procession, but people do not pull over.

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  185. I’ve been in two funeral processions in my life–once for my uncle and once for my next door neighbor’s mom. We did this in both funeral processions. But only the one for my next door neighbor’s mom had police escorts because we had to go on a freeway for most of the way to the cemetary (VA cemetery).

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  186. I’ve not seen cops involved actively shutting down intersections, but I was taught in drivers ed a million years ago in suburban Chicago that you are allowed to run lights as part of a funeral procession. I about had a panic attack the first time I had to do that, but in my experience, even impatient Chicagoans respected the funeral procession.

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  187. It’s a southern thing. Saw it in Georgia.

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  188. I grew up in a small-ish town in Missouri. I remember this being part of the tradition. But where I am now on the west coast, not so sure, traffic is usually so insane, I don’t think it’s possible. 😦 Maybe smaller towns perhaps?

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  189. Happens up here in Michigan!

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  190. Yes in New Jersey. Including the police escort.

    Like

  191. People used to honor the procession, but don’t seem to any more.

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  192. I’m on Long island in New York and 99% of people will not pull over. At the beginning of the procession they remind you to follow traffic laws. My friends sister actually got pulled over for running a red light in her uncle’s funeral procession.

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  193. I think our state used to gave a law that you had to pull over for funeral processions. But I think it’s been changed. I kind of remember it on my drivers test. But yes, my hometown observed this courtesy. I observe it in the big city I live in.

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  194. 196
    Kathy P in Pittsburgh

    I’m in Pittsburgh, and have seen quite a few traffic-stopping funeral processions, some not only led by a police car, but with a few interspersed in the line and one playing follow-up. It’s a good way to make sure that all the mourners get to the cemetary around the same time so the celebrant doesn’t have to hang around waiting for people who got stopped at red lights. My mom told me that “back in the day” (40s&50s), employees of the stores along the funeral route would come outside as the procession passed to show their respects for the dead.

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  195. It happens in Atlanta ga!

    Like

  196. They do that here in Wisconsin, at least for longer funeral processions.

    Liked by 1 person

  197. Happens in the Midwest too

    Like

  198. We’ve lived all over the country due to my husband’s job and this has happened everywhere we lived. I consider it a show of respect for the deceased and their loved ones.

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  199. Hi. From Newfoundland, Canada. We have the same tradition here. The funeral procession all turn on their hazard lights. No police involvement that I have ever noticed. Have oftentimes noted a rude/inpatient vehicle refusing to let the procession pass.

    Our prime minister seems not to recognize this tradition as he only recently interrupted the funeral procession of a fallen soldier so he and his entourage could pass.

    Very sorry for your loss. You sound like you have many beautiful memories of your grandfather to keep him living on in your heart and mind.

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  200. I’ve lived in ID, LA, CA, NY, CO,WI and NM and it happens in all those places. In Louisiana though, people get out of their cars, remove their hat if they are wearing one, and stay there until the procession has passed.

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  201. 203
    Whoa Nellie

    Yep – I have seen it a number of times, though I’m in the burbs. Not sure how this would work in the Big Cities I live near, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  202. Yes, we do this in Michigan too! I love how you worded that, consolation prize!! That will make being part of future processions bearable!

    Liked by 1 person

  203. In Hugo Colorado this still happens, everyone pulls over to let you pass. We don’t have stop lights so we don’t get to run any red lights. Everyone also brings good to your house and pitches in for the family get together afterwards. On a side note, a lot of funerals are held at the fairgrounds event building because our church’s are not big enough to hold the crowd.

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  204. I’m from a small town in NC & it’s the same there. I live in florida now & have never seen anyone do it here.

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  205. I think it’s par for the course in small towns, but I don’t think they do in larger cities. If they did, the traffic would be on the side of the road every 5 minutes ( you know…. because there are a lot more dead folks in bigger geographic areas…..? I’m very sorry about your grandfather, sweetie.

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  206. Happens here in Western NY, too!

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  207. I’m in central NY (Syracuse area). We do it here.

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  208. It still happens occassionally in Houston, but the funeral homes organize it and you can opted out of the police escort.

    Liked by 1 person

  209. I’ve seen this mostly in the South. I’m originally from Texas, but never came across it in Iowa or Canada.

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  210. It’s done in the Northeast, as well, out of respect.

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  211. New Jersey and New York do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  212. 214
    Melissa Ann Cook

    I grew up in Central Illinois and have lived in St Louis since the early ’80s. While both areas have had the police escorted funeral processions where we all have our headlights on and get to go through stoplights, I don’t ever recall non-participants pulling over

    Liked by 1 person

  213. In Nevada, the only funeral processions I’ve seen (and pulled over for) are military and police funerals. Usually then there are a large number of military/police vehicles with lights flashing, so it’s literally impossible to miss.

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  214. Yes, happens often in the suburbs of Chicago.

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  215. New Jersey and New York do this.

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  216. I live in Kansas City, and it still happens here.

    Liked by 1 person

  217. I’ve seen it, but not often. Just a bit south of Los Angeles. Police were involved, everyone else was stopped. There were windshield stickers identifying the mourners.

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  218. 220
    Bridgett E.

    Many years ago, I was visiting the Motown Museum in Detroit, which is next to a funeral home. As I was leaving, a funeral procession was also forming; someone plopped a funeral flag magnet on my car hood and I somehow got into the line of cars coming from the funeral… I couldn’t figure out a polite way to get out it and wound up driving several miles down Grand Boulevard to the cemetery, where I finally took a left. I have to say, it was kinda cool to not have to stop for lights- and it was touching how people did pull over. Plus- an interesting souvenir from my trip. I’ve seen this pulling over behavior around where I live here in southeastern CT, but it’s mostly done by people older than 50 or so. I’ve seen younger drivers actually cut INTO the funeral lines… I’m glad people knew this and did it for your grandfather. It’s important to pay respects to both those who have died and the people who loved and are mourning them.

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  219. We still do this in Wisconsin.

    Liked by 1 person

  220. I remember it happening a lot in Memphis when I was little and my mom would always pull over but it seems like people either don’t know to or don’t want to anymore. I think it’s pretty sad, but also traffic always sucks there, too, so I can see how people are missing that it’s a procession.

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  221. Yep, happens in small town Wisconsin too.

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  222. This would happen in my small hometown in New England, but does not happen where I live now near Seattle.

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  223. South Carolina…yes, always

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  224. Yes, it happens here, in the northeastern part of Maryland that is defined more by the name of the county it is part of than by the individual town it is. No matter the length of the line in the procession, they move through as a group.

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  225. I grew up in Tennessee, and that was a thing there, but not in Toledo, Ohio or anywhere in California.

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  226. I’m from Hammond, Indiana, which is right over the state line from Chicago. It was always the tradition to have a procession: lights on, FUNERAL sticker on the dash. I never, ever saw anyone cut through a procession, as it was a sacrilege spoken of only in hushed tones. I haven’t seen one once in the 20-some years I’ve lived in Colorado, though. There’s so much sprawl here that I think it’s rare to find an old community with traditions like that.

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  227. The procession for my Grandmother was interrupted by a taxi driver with a turban, who pulled right in front of me, cutting me off! We knew this was a cultural faux pas and laughed that Nana had a sense of humor and might have something to do with it!! We ALL had “Funeral” flags on our front hoods to notify other drivers.

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  228. In SO CAL, they aim for you, and cut in between flagged marked mourners in the slow lane on the freeway.
    I wish people understood respect.

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  229. New England, specifically Massachusetts here – yes, we do this.
    I haven’t seen people not pull over, actually.

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  230. When my mum passed in 2012, we has the police escort and people were (mostly) respectful. Had this jackhole in a van force himself in front of my sister’s car because he wanted to make a right and couldn’t wait. While passing through an intersection, a jerk in a muscle car ignored the procession and nearly T boned me. The cop there screamed at him as I recovered and drove on. I’m in Northern Virginia, so we’re not too north or south.

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  231. 233
    kmpierce37

    I love in Knoxville ,TN and while not an enormous metropolis it’s also not a tiny town either. People have always done that here. Maybe its a Southern thing? I like it too. It’s respectful of both the deceased and their loved ones.

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  232. I grew up in a small town in Louisiana and we did that. I now live in Baton Rouge and I think we do that here but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a funeral procession so I can’t swear to it.

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  233. This happens where i live (cincinnati ohio)
    at each time the mourners have to leave the church and proceed to the cemetary. The last time i was amazed at the number of vehicles in the procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  234. Raised in Oklahoma, and yes, it happened all the time. I’ve lived in Wisconsin for 12 years an I don’t think I’ve ever seen it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 237
    Brenda Lee

    We did it in our small town in New York.

    Liked by 1 person

  236. We do this in Cincinnati OH, I was amazed at the number of vehicles in the last procession I saw.

    Liked by 1 person

  237. 239
    TexasLeigh

    That has happened in every town in every state I have ever lived in. It’s a sign of respect for the deceased and their family.

    Liked by 1 person

  238. Happens in small towns/cities in Michigan still. Kinda dangerous if you are clueless about the tradition and you try to go thru the green light. It’s a bit of an anachronism but in general, I don’t mind waiting since it’s the final gesture of respect that the community gives…

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  239. I believe this is an option in most places but you have to pay to do it. I believe it’s paying for the police officers’ time to stop the traffic etc… I know this was an option that my husband’s family did not choose to do when his grandmother passed away. They are from IL. I’ve seen this happen in ID but when my grandmother passed last year my dad’s family didn’t do this for the procession either. I don’t know if it was an option for them, no one mentioned it to me, but I’ve seen it happen for funeral processions in town before.

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  240. 242
    helenmatheyhornbooks

    My hometown in Northern Illinois…yes.
    Haven’t noticed here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but the cemeteries are located more to the south of town and I’m on the north, so I might have missed this. Although one mortuary place has like a U-shaped driveway which I assume is for the cars to ‘gather’.

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  241. Yep, and I’m in Chicago, so it’s not just a small town thing. On streets with more than one lane, other cars may not pull over, but you know not to interrupt the funeral procession.

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  242. I’ve seen it in Virginia where I’m from and pensacola.

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  243. Way up north in NH, it’s done all the time, even in our larger cities.

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  244. It’s a law where I’m from

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  245. This has happened everywhere I’ve ever lived. Even up North.

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  246. 248
    Kathy Klinich

    Yes, we do it in Ann Arbor where I live now, and in greater Cleveland where I grew up. In addition to lights on, you get a little flag with “funeral” on it to stick on your car.

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  247. I’m from Manitoba Canada and yes, and not only do we turn on headlights in a funeral procession, but no other cars will pull out to pass the procession…but we’re Canadian and super polite like that.

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  248. I wish that happened in New Zealand – so very cool and respectful.

    Liked by 1 person

  249. 251
    Tom Burton

    Do they do the same if the deceased is a victim of a hit and run?

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  250. Live in PA. This is the normal where I live. Unfortunately during the procession for my mother’s death, all of us had to pull to the side of the road to let an ambulance through.

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  251. I live in California right across from a mortuary, and yep. happens here, too

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  252. Yes, it’s the same where we live. Caveat: we’re in a suburb of Washington DC, and if the procession drives onto a highway, some cars not in the procession may break into the line. Some of it is rudeness, no doubt, but it’s also that if on a high-speed or clogged highway, sometimes they don’t have choice, needing to get to an exit or miss it, for example.

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  253. yes, this is common in BC, Canada where I live. Cars in the procession are given little flags for their windows to indicate they’re in the funeral party, so lights are generally held for drivers. I’ve only been to a couple of funerals but this was the case both times.

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  254. 256
    All Seeing Side-Eye

    Yes, I just saw a funeral procession two weeks ago in my Midwestern city. I lived in WI for a time, and it is illegal to break into/through a funeral procession. I was in one, and a plumbing van broke in – you bet I called the company when I got home. So disrespectful.

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  255. We don’t here and we also get flags on our cars if we are i Porta then enough

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  256. Good lord….proof reading would help….

    We DO here and we also get flags on our cars if we are important enough

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  257. Definitely yes in Saskatchewan, Canada. Only a rude jerk would try to go through a light when a funeral procession is going by.

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  258. In my small farm town (Elsie, MI) not only do people pull over but farmers will stop their tractors in the field, stand up, take their hat off and bow their head as a procession goes by. Once it’s past they go right back to what they were doing. It’s a very cool thing to see and be a part of in a sad, humbling sort of way.

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  259. When my grandpa died the city workers came out and stood lined up along the road with their heads bowed. He was not a city worker. He was a farmer. Cars pulled over and stopped. However, where I live no one stops for anything. In fact, people fall in line with the funeral procession to get through traffic faster.

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  260. 262
    David speers

    In Ireland ,We Have More Funeral Pecadillos Than Any Country In Thd World

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  261. I live in Ontario, Canada near the city of Windsor (across the river from Detroit.) They do the funeral procession thing here just like you describe. It’s not just a southern thing or even just an American thing.

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  262. Living in Scottsdale, AZ. I don’t see it often, but it does happen. I do most of my driving weekday mornings and early afternoons, so I don’t see much procession traffic. Most of our roads are two lane or more in each direction, so people just pull to the side, not necessarily off the road.

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  263. 265
    Carolyn Stephens

    I was only 20 when my father died. I’m almost 75 now, so that’ll tell you how lasting the memory was of people pulling aside to allow the cortege to pass. It was a smallish town in Georgia. It meant so much to me even though logically I knew they didn’t know us, had no idea who they were showing respect to. Except my ballet teacher. She blew me a kiss and I cried. It’s the little things.

    Liked by 2 people

  264. This is what happens in Iowa. It was about 20 miles from the funeral home to the cemetery. There was a police escort until we turned on the gravel road.

    Liked by 1 person

  265. 267
    Cathy Hooper

    Yes, I live in small rural town in east Texas. I interpret it as a sign of respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  266. Our city does this as well – although without the police. We have little flags that stick magnetically to the vehicles so everyone knows. People on the street pause as the procession goes by. During my dad’s funeral, a group of skateboarders all stopped, took off their hats and bowed their heads. I love the respect they showed!

    Liked by 3 people

  267. I kind of want to draw out the route they use for me now and take them all over town; past all of my life time of homes, schools, bars I frequented, work places, etc…maybe have a tour narrated by me playing in each car telling boring stories. That would piss off so many people and it would be just like me in life. And it would be even better if the cemetery ends up being a block from the funeral home but they all used up a tank of gas.

    Liked by 1 person

  268. Where I live in BC Canada, people will stop and wait for the cars in a funeral procession to pass by, even when it is driving through traffic lights and four-way stops. But the only times that I
    have seen police involved has been for funerals of fire fighters, police, etc. and public figures.

    Liked by 1 person

  269. I live in southwest Ohio and yes, this is an established custom. It is considered a sign of respect to pull to the side of the road and let the funeral procession pass. I find it very touching 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  270. I’ve lived north and south and i remember this happening in all of my places of residence.

    Liked by 1 person

  271. When my father passed we were given the option of having police escorts for the funeral procession, and we said yes — we had two officers (one at the front, one at the back) who would hold traffic at intersections as we traveled through. This was in Tucson, some thirty (30!!!!!!!!!!) years ago now… I was in a bit of shock, so I’m lucky I remember that much. He was a vet, and I don’t know if that was why we got that option, or if they offer it to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  272. 274
    Bette Genia

    We have only lived here for 18 years and I have not seen many processions but the one I do recall most they drove from the funeral home down back streets away from most traffic and when they did arrive at the highway the police had traffic stopped for the procession to make its way onto the highway. Traffic was held at the next corner they needed to turn at so they didn’t have far to travel on the highway to the next back street route. I was always taught it just good manners to pull over when you see a procession approaching and wait for all their cars to pass. Usually you could tell because besides lights on the funeral homes had suction cup flags they stuck on the cars to signify it was part of the procession. I have also seen them led with a police unit front and back.

    My condolences to your family for your loss, it sounds like you will have a lot of great memories to look back on.

    Liked by 1 person

  273. According to this law firm’s document, it varies from state to state, and many states have no official laws concerning funeral processions: https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/FUNERAL-PROCESSION-TRAFFIC-LAWS.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  274. I live in Chicago; it happens here. The police help on busy streets.

    Liked by 1 person

  275. Yes in most of the small rural places I’ve lived, no in the bigger places. I’ve lived in Idaho, Colorado, , New York and new england. It also seems like something more old school from my grandparents generation and leas common these days I think mostly because people don’t have traditional funerals and burials as much anymore (cremations and memorial services have been the norm for my family for a couple decades now.

    Liked by 1 person

  276. 278
    StatusTics

    Upper Midwest and east coast experience: yes to being able to run red lights etc, but only occasionally does someone pull over to let the procession pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  277. Iowa thing too, especially in the rural areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  278. Yea. Where I’m from originally we pull over out or respect and the funeral procession has cop escorts.

    Liked by 1 person

  279. 281
    Jillaurellia

    We do all this here in Southern Minnesota. All the small towns I’ve lived in do it. But some place like Minneapolis, no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  280. 282
    Karen Rose

    In NJ, PA and CO, it is the norm. It is even a common practice to drive the procession from the church past the person’s home, sometimes past their work before heading to the cemetery. Sadly, it seems many people now either don’t know or don’t care if they “butt in” the procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  281. 283
    Andi DeRuntz Andrews

    I personally do pull over when I see a funeral procession, but not all people do. And sadly the police here cannot escort a funeral procession through traffic, but most of the funeral homes know ways around town to get you from the funeral home to the graveyard without having to stop and lose some of the family that has lost a loved one.

    Liked by 2 people

  282. 284
    wagnerchristy

    We had my dad’s funeral in his small hometown, and everyone we passed from the funeral home to the cemetery—including dozens of semis—pulled over and stopped as we drove by. I had never experienced this before, so this seemingly small act of respect for my dad and compassion for the family made me cry.

    Liked by 2 people

  283. 285
    Marcia Clifton Robbins

    Yes, I grew up in Watertown, NY. We always did this. We are in the area of Fort Drum. One of the most deployed army bases in America.

    Liked by 1 person

  284. In California, if the procession is led by a police escort, it is the law that the procession gets the right of way. Those failing to yield can be ticketed.
    That means that wise people yield to funeral processions whether they can see the escort or not.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/addl_drv_rules
    (Scroll down about halfway for the funeral bits.)

    Liked by 1 person

  285. Definitely does not happen in New Jersey!

    Liked by 1 person

  286. North Dakota does this also, but we leave the police out of it, and the funeral home leads the procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  287. I live in Connecticut, and this is done throughout the state – small towns and large cities. Not that I’ve encountered funeral processions in many states outside of Connecticut, but for the ones I have encountered, the same courtesy/respect was paid.

    Liked by 1 person

  288. God no, cars in Miami don’t even pull over for fire trucks, EMS, police, or ambulances running lights/sirens. Plus you have to rent police, motorcycle cops or security to get the funeral escort.

    Liked by 1 person

  289. 291
    Samantha Gillett

    God no, cars in Miami don’t even pull over for fire trucks, EMS, police, or ambulances running lights/sirens. Plus you have to rent police, motorcycle cops or security to get the funeral escort.

    Liked by 1 person

  290. I live in Louisville Kentucky. And the downtown parts that doesn’t happen so much, but all surrounding towns have to oblige by that. I’ve seen people pulled over and ticketed for not allowing a funeral to pass through.

    Liked by 1 person

  291. I think in bigger cities it depends on the size of the procession and if they get a police escort or not. I live near a cemetery in Denver and when they had a funeral for a police officer who was shot, they closed off the whole road for the big long procession that came through.

    Liked by 1 person

  292. In Indiana, absolutely. In New Orleans, it’s hit or miss….

    Liked by 1 person

  293. We do this in western NC but not in central NC. I think it’s a small town thing of respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  294. We m from a small southern town and we do it too. I figured that everyone did.

    Liked by 1 person

  295. 297
    Tracy Fleck

    There are actual laws governing this. You are legally in many states required to allow a funeral procession to pass. Some places where there is a lot of traffic, the police assist with this to keep the procession together.
    https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/FUNERAL-PROCESSION-TRAFFIC-LAWS.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  296. Totally still happens in Fredericksburg TX!

    Liked by 1 person

  297. 299
    Tracy Fleck

    The police assisted during my uncle’s funeral procession which was over an hour and through Atlanta, they stopped 4 lanes of traffic on a major highway!

    Liked by 1 person

  298. We do this also in Wisconsin. I agree, it’s the respectful thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  299. 301
    Cynthia Penner

    I live in Seattle and they do it here, with a motorcycle officer at the beginning and the end of the procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  300. 302
    Samantha Jones

    I live in Indiana and this is very common even in some larger towns. When my grandpa died, his casket was carried on the back of a firetruck from the funeral home to the gravesite. It was very moving to see strangers pull over, some of which watched intently(a couple took pictures). I have some pictures from his funeral on my Facebook page(talk about morbid 😆)

    Liked by 1 person

  301. 303
    Lori DeLand

    Happens here in West Michigan.

    Liked by 1 person

  302. Yes, we still do it here. I live on the Gulf Coast of Alabama in a town with a population of 20 thousand or so.

    Liked by 1 person

  303. Yes! It happens in D.C., Maryland,and Virginia. The only difference is people don’t pull over to the side of the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  304. We still do it in Austin, which is not far from you. We also have police escorts. Going up I35 with a police escort is pretty freaking awesome, in spite of the circumstances. It’s the only time I’ve been able to go the speed limit on it 🙂 I’m not sure if that service is provided to just certain individuals who have earned it or certain individuals who have paid for it though.

    Liked by 1 person

  305. Yes, we do that here in my tiny hometown of Crowell, Texas. The Sheriff stands under the one blinking red light with cowboy hat over his heart as the funeral procession passes by.

    Liked by 1 person

  306. 308
    Christine T.

    Happens all the time in Southwest VA. The police also led my grandma’s procession in NJ.

    Liked by 1 person

  307. I don’t know about every funeral, but it seems pretty common here in the Midwest.

    Liked by 1 person

  308. Definitely the norm here, I’m in the northeast. If it is a small procession, maybe no police, but everyone but the self absorbed jerks will stop until the procession passes. It is the kind and respectful thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  309. 311
    Ellen Tannenbaum

    People do not pull over because of a safety issue, it is a sign of respect for the deceased and mourners to pause in our day to acknowledge the event. Mostly in smaller towns because beyond a certain point it would become unmanageable or impossible to manage. Though a few years ago when a funeral was held for a highly respected policeman or sheriff’s deputy was held in Portland, the entire Interstate from the church to the graveyard across town came to a halt, voluntarily, to pay their respects, with people even getting out of their cars and bowing their heads or saluting.

    Liked by 1 person

  310. 312
    starcatbooks

    Where I grew up for high school in a small town in PA, yes, we all did this. I see the same thing up here in the small VT town I’m in now, replete with people not related to the family dropping what they’re doing and coming to the funeral because everyone knows everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  311. Yes. I’m from a populated area in Ohio and we do it here. Since funerals are mostly sad, this post actually brought to mind a rather amusing story from my grandma’s funeral. We left church and my brother was driving a car full of family including my great aunt. Someone did not heed funeral procession protocol and cut my brother off. My aunt (who is like the sweetest ever) yelled, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Respect the dead!” which helped all of us immensely! Thoughts to your family during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  312. Always see it done in NJ, saw it a few times in and near ATX.

    Liked by 1 person

  313. We do it in Austin! I thought it was done everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  314. 316
    Dena Narbaitz

    We did this in my hometown in California. I still pull over as a matter of respect. I am hoping common decency is going to come back into fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

  315. 317
    Laura M (no longer living near dead town)

    Until recently, I lived next to Colma, a town that has more dead people than live. In our area, all the people of a funeral procession have signs in their windows in bright orange that say “funeral”, and they are given the right of way all the way to the graveyard, whether there’s a police escort or not. And if you don’t give way, you could be pulled over or just yelled at.

    Liked by 1 person

  316. Small town in Michigan, yes. Tucson Arizona, no. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  317. No, I live outside of Philly and you’re lucky if they let the procession continue through a red light. Very sad and disrespectful, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  318. Small town here -but absolutely. Folks will get out of cars to show respect. Military or EMS = folks stand at attention. Very nice and respectful

    Liked by 1 person

  319. Here in Aus, there are legal requirements to let a mourners procession pass. Whilst we have to obey road rules (e.g. traffic lights), it is an expected sign of respect that you let the line of mourners travel together. Long standing tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

  320. 322
    Marti Johnson

    Yes. I live in North Carolina and we always have pulled over to let the funeral procession pass and stay together. I have lived in several states and NC is home and we have always done this. I feel that it is a southern thing to show respect for the passing person and to the family that is trying to get to the burial site. It only takes five minutes to let the procession pass and it’s just a nice way to show respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  321. In my county in densely populated northern Virginia if you want a police escort for a funeral procession, the funeral director or next of kin has to fill out a form with the sheriff’s department. I think this is how it works everywhere. Problem is most people don’t know they can do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  322. Yes. Here in East Tennessee, this still happens. And you can write about funeral shit as long as you need to feel better. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  323. I had forgotten about that tradition, but I could swear it happened in Bryan/College Station TX, which is relatively large; it’s not like you’d see a funeral procession and be like “oh right, Mrs. Tarnation’s funeral is today.”

    Liked by 1 person

  324. 326
    theladyh11

    We do, but I’m from a small town in southern Oklahoma which is basically the same as your hometown.

    Liked by 1 person

  325. 327
    tia in boise

    yep–we do it in the thriving metropolis of BOISE, idaho!

    Liked by 1 person

  326. We did this in the suburbs of Chicago, where I grew up and did flower arrangements for funerals AND we do it in the rural upstate village where I live as an adult.

    Liked by 1 person

  327. I’m from Canada and our running lights are always on, but in the little town my family’s from, people pull over when they see a funeral procession (there aren’t any stoplights). When my grandma died, even a construction crew stopped working when we went by on our way to the cemetery. This doesn’t happen in the larger city I live in. I think it’s a small town thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  328. I live in a small town in Ontario Canada. This is totally a sign if respect. The most heart breaking time I saw it is when we met a procession of a fallen soldier on the Highway of Heros. The entire highway pulled the side of the road and respected their journey

    Liked by 1 person

  329. I grew up in Colorado and it was a thing. I live in CA now and have fortunately only been to one funeral here but the same thing happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  330. Throughout this region we have always done exactly what you describe. I was raised here, in South Texas and we stopped and stood until the last officer went by. Respect.

    Liked by 2 people

  331. They do it all over the greater St. Louis metro area, except the cars driving on the same road pulling over. They do use a LEO motorcycle escort to block intersections.

    Liked by 1 person

  332. This was definitely a thing where I grew up, a small town in northern Illinois. I think it’s a sign of respect, as well as way to make sure all the mourners travel together. I’ve since moved to a big city and don’t know whether or not the tradition continues in my hometown. I’d like to think that it does. Also- people offered their cars…so that the family members wouldn’t have to drive. Various friends would clean and polish their vehicles and the family of the deceased would be driven to the cemetary from the church and then back for the luncheon. That’s a thing, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  333. When I was young and went “back home” to a very small country town everyone pulled over to the shoulder. My parents told me it was a sign of respect for the family and the person that past. Today however, I very rarely see people pulling over to the shoulder. However, society has changed and become a ‘me’ society always in a rush.

    Liked by 1 person

  334. I think it is a small town thing. Rarely ever saw it when I lived in Denver. But in the small town I grew up in, it still happens. I’d also like to bring back a specified time of mourning. It doesnt have to be a whole year, maybe 2 months of staying out of work and 3 months of wearing black clothes so people know why you’re sad. Sending good thoughts your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  335. Small town NW Indiana…yes same here!

    Liked by 1 person

  336. I grew up in Rochester, NY and now live in Richmond, VA and both cities do this for funeral processions. It is such a respectful thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  337. I’m in a city which is part of the Greater Toronto Area (Canada) and it still happens here.

    Liked by 1 person

  338. We’re smack in the middle of the city of Atlanta and this absolutely still happens. I think it’s mostly southern, but it’s a lovely sign of respect no matter who the departed is!

    Liked by 1 person

  339. It happens in Ohio everywhere the roads allow. On a four lane, no. On a two lane, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  340. Heck no (big city in Australia).

    Liked by 1 person

  341. Yes. We do it here in Medford Oregon and surrounding areas. I have seen familes walk from the church to the gravesite as well.

    Grief is a bastard. Be kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  342. We did this in NE Ohio and in TX. I don’t think I’ve even seen a funeral procession in the 8 years I’ve lived in MN, come to think of it. Strange.

    Liked by 1 person

  343. Yes this also happens in Detroit

    Liked by 1 person

  344. 346
    Kali Woodbridge

    The police escort thing helps enforce the unbroken line of mourners and the wealthier/more famous the family is, the more likely they are to get the police escort. Larger towns that I have lived in do observe this tradition. Some people remain clueless.

    Liked by 1 person

  345. I grew up in a small town in northern British Columbia and that was the tradition then. I don’t know if they still do it. Now I live in one of Canada’s largest cities and I don’t see funeral processions very often, although I have seen driving with lights on in line after the hearse.

    Liked by 1 person

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  346. I live in MA and grew up in CT. Most people do try to let the procession go by, but they don’t all have police escort so sometimes you don’t always realize what’s happening, unless the cars have flags on them. I know I’ve accidentally broken up a procession, and was terribly embarrassed when I realized it!

    Liked by 1 person

  347. I live 30 miles west of Philly, with my mom’s side of the family living in and around Philly – and at every funeral I’ve been to three is this sort of funeral procession with people pulling over and the procession as a whole driving the whole route without stopping for red lights.

    Liked by 1 person

  348. 350
    trishiecat

    i’m in Utah and they do it in my town (88,000} and if you are a member of the local faith the society ladies are assigned a dish to make for a luncheon for those who traveled. you know, jello, ham, funeral potatoes, rolls,

    Liked by 1 person

  349. It happens very rarely here in central Houston – – – pretty sure there are way too many factors involved,
    When my aunt died in Brownfield, TX, though, her processional brought the entire town to a stop. It was very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  350. At my grandmother’s funeral we had a funeral procession, we were escorted by cops, but no one pulled over. We didn’t have to stop at lights. This was in San Diego.

    Liked by 1 person

  351. 353
    Debora Knutson

    The Wisconsin town where I grew up did this.

    Liked by 1 person

  352. Yes in our small town in Southwestern Ontario, Canada we do all of that. Also, when my mom’s funeral procession passed our home, we stopped for a moment to honour her and our family.

    Liked by 1 person

  353. 355
    Jill M Knowles

    I grew up in a tiny town in Eastern Oregon and now live in Tucson, AZ. We did this in both places. I’ve always thought it was a lovely show of respect. Even when it makes me 20 minutes late for work.

    Liked by 1 person

  354. 356
    Cynthia White

    They used to do this in Maryland when I was growing up, and I’ve also seen it in Pennsylvania. Whenever I saw the funeral procession, I’d think about important and loved a person was to have all those cars following the hearse. Most of the cars would have black ribbons or flowers tied to the antenna so you knew they were part of the procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  355. It happens in my town in NC and most cars you pass will turn on their headlights as a way to show respect for the procession and your loved one.

    Liked by 1 person

  356. Yes, it happens up north here in Duluth, MN. Lights on for all mourners so others let them continue through lights and stopsigns to get to the cemetery for the burial.

    Liked by 1 person

  357. This happens in Dallas, so I know it’s not just small towns! We also did it for my grandma’s funeral in South Dakota, do not just a southern thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  358. 360
    Ashlee Fowler

    We do this in my hometown. I used to work at the Sheriff’s office as a dispatcher and we had the funeral home schedule officers to stop traffic for the funeral processions. I always thought it was a nice sign of respect for the dead and their loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  359. Yes in Miami, but we had to pay the police department for the escort in order to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  360. In my smaller city [population 50,000] in Indiana we do this. I remember asking my mom about it when I was a kid, so I knew about the tradition long before I participated in it.

    Liked by 1 person

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  361. In my in-laws town in Tennessee, it’s No longer Legal to stop on the side of the road for a funeral. But everyone still does it out of respect. This year when my husband’s grandfather passed, even a guy on a riding lawnmower stopped!

    Liked by 1 person

  362. Baltimore MD suburbs checking in…it’s sort of a thing here, but falling out of fashion very quickly. My understanding is that the custom was a holdover from the days when out of town extended family would need to follow the locals from the funeral parlor to the cemetery, in order to avoid getting lost and missing the burial. In our modern age of GPS, the funeral procession isn’t respected nearly as much as it used to be, because there’s no reason for it anymore. That doesn’t stop them from trying to run stop signs and lights, but it’s illegal(no police escort here) and generally other traffic won’t tolerate it.

    My personal rule is I will respect a SHORT procession by not merging amongst them and tolerating them clipping the start of a red light. If 3-4 cars want to follow a hearse, go right ahead. But I was once stopped a few cars back at a green light as what had to be 20 cars ran the red. That’s too many.

    Liked by 1 person

  363. Very common throughout all of New England’s small towns and big cities.
    Even Boston Drivers respect the funeral procession. One or two may join it for a while, but I’ve never seen anyone ever cut off or interrupt the motorcade.

    Liked by 1 person

  364. All of my life they have done this in Chicago; the funeral home gives all of the cars involved little orange stickers for their windshields (and there used to be flags for the antennas also, but those have evolved off of cars, so…not so much any more). Now it seems like other drivers are getting too impatient; they don’t pull over and I’ve seen drivers trying to cross the funeral procession, which is kind of like trying to cross a freakin’ parade. Insane. Is one last ounce of respect too much to ask? It would seem so.
    Actually though, the parade thought is a good one- a funeral procession being that person’s very own “Goodbye Parade”.
    Oh, I am SO calling it that from now on. A Goodbye Parade.
    (But I hope I won’t have cause to, as it’s been a bleak 3 years: 7 deaths of friends and family- sigh.)

    I want to tell you that your whole family has my sincere condolences; I am just really happy (not happy happy, but you know what I mean) that things happened as they did- if death has to happen, surrounded by love is the best way.

    Liked by 1 person

  365. Yes, this happened in my small hometown in Wisconsin. There were about 7500 people who lived there, so not that many stoplights to run. But it was definitely a thing there.

    Liked by 1 person

  366. Oh, and Chicago doesn’t have a police escort unless the deceased was a bigwig of some kind. But in Driver’s Ed they told us that is the only reason you get to go through a red light.

    Liked by 1 person

  367. When my Dad died in Texas this summer, the funeral home said a police escort would cost a lot because the grave was 30 miles away. We bought US flags for all the cars (Dad was a WWII vet) and provided our own escort.

    Liked by 1 person

  368. It’s common practice in rural Northern Ohio. You will also frequently see men remove their hats as the funeral cortège passes.

    Liked by 1 person

  369. That’s how we did it where I grew up in rural Tennessee, and in Memphis and I see it in Atlanta too.

    Liked by 1 person

  370. Yes. I’m in a pretty big city, but we are in the South. I went to court for a traffic violation and a man was there that tried to outrun the procession so that he wouldn’t have to pull over, he was heavily shamed by all of the other offenders and the judge—and some of those offenders were in jail being Skyped in!

    Liked by 1 person

  371. No cops unless it’s a really big funeral, but yeah same thing in Montana

    Liked by 1 person

  372. That is standard funeral procession decorum, as far as I know. I’m from SoCal, so not a small town at all, and every funeral I’ve ever been too has been done this way.

    For my husband’s grandparents’ funerals — held in Los Angeles — there were police officer escorts who stopped traffic to let the processional through the traffic lights to the cemetery. We all had “funeral” stickers on our windshields, too.

    I’ve only been to a couple of funerals in the south for family members — in Virginia and North Carolina — and it was the same way.

    Is this not normal everywhere?

    Liked by 1 person

  373. We do that here in NJ and the Philly area, but police escorts aren’t the norm, unless it’s a funeral for a police officer. I lived in a town with a large Catholic cemetery just outside of Philly, and the entire Main Street would be shut down for hours. Also, a little off topic, but when my father died, it was complicated. We didn’t have a funeral (or really want to have one), but my sister and I did have to drive behind the hearse that picked-up his body to sign over papers and pay for cremation. It was just my car following a hearse on a quiet early morning, and a complete stranger on the street stopped to let us by and made the sign of the cross. That was one of the kindest acts from a stranger I’ve ever experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  374. In Denmark you definetly let a funeral procession pass, also in big cities. I don’t think the undertaker (in the car in front) would run a red light, but if it changes mid-procession everyone will cross anyway. And it’s just rude to cut across or try to overtake cars in a procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  375. We do it in Chicagoland.

    Liked by 1 person

  376. Every small town I’ve ever been to or lived in, in Tennessee, absolutely does this. And men better take off their hats.

    Liked by 1 person

  377. 379
    Judith Adams

    Yes, in Seattle, with a population of almost 1 million. There is a cemetery in my neighborhood so I see and experience it.

    Liked by 1 person

  378. 380
    Doug in Oakland

    They did it in Eureka, California, population 25,000, when I was a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  379. (Philly, PA, USA) it’s considered bad manners here to break a procession (which on smaller streets does include letting them run redlights if you’re the opposing traffic) and if it’s a larger road you might shift lanes to let them through, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone pull over?

    Liked by 1 person

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  380. Yes, we do it here in California too, funeral processions have the legal right away here as well, and the vehicles need to be marked with “funeral” (usually a magnet in bright orange or the like). That being said, in our cities, even I have not realized right away that a long line of cars WAS an actual funeral procession and not just usual traffic . Many of the funerals I’ve been to thru the years have been arranged so the service and burial were at the same place or very close to each other, then the reception is elsewhere. This make logistics in our uber crowded areas much simpler. Or the services are space out time wise. It seems to me the bigger the city, the less processions you see, except like #20 said, if its for a police officer or high ranking official, then street closure ensue. There are companies & police departments that will escort, but you need a permit & its actually considered dangerous for the police, or retired police officers, involved. Respect isn’t dead, sometimes you just have to look for it 😉

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  381. Yes in Metro Detroit. Funeral flags on cars (they ask before the service if you will be going to the cemetery, then put a flag on and have you park so that you will exit with the procession). Hearse first, then family, then everyone else. Last car has 4 flags to let everyone know it’s the last. Traffic doesn’t pull off to the side, but they (the funeral cars) do stay together, “running” red lights, etc. If the hearse hits a red light first (is it is amber in approach, then red), they will stop and not go through the intersection, breaking the flow of cross-traffic. They have their own lane, but other traffic doesn’t stop or pull over (they used to, but not in my 43 year old memory, and I’m guessing it was before 6 lane roads). Unless it was a dignitary or member of law enforcement, no cops needed – protocol/tradition is just heeded. You don’t break a procession if you aren’t in it. You just don’t. It’s like when the barriers go down for a train crossing – you just wait patiently, calling the boss to let them know that you are “stuck” behind a funeral prossession and will be a few minutes late. The funeral home removes the flags during cemetery service (it’s like magic! You get out of your car and it’s there, get back in and it’s gone! The flags are magnetic) There are exceptions. There was a funeral I went to where the cemetery/interment was 25 miles down the interstate. We just met there. The ones that make me sad are hearse, family, two other cars, and that’s all. I hate poorly attended funerals – they are just so sad.

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  382. It used to happen in hawaii on oahu thru the 70s but then we became too big and modern 😢😉

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  383. I have never heard of this respectful tradition. I think it is wonderful. Thank you for sharing and I am sorry for your loss. Warmly Aloise

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  384. We do it in Connecticut.

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  385. 387
    Chris Blackwood

    I’ve lived in two small towns where the funeral homes have mourners turn on their turning lights for funeral processions. Where I live now, People pull over for funeral processions. They just don’t pull over for ambulances or police cars.

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  386. We do it here in the Northeast, sort of. I haven’t seen anyone pull over but you def try not to break into the procession. Side note, I was once in a procession that managed to merge with another and I wound up at the wrong burial. Whoops. Met up with my peeps at the house after.

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  387. Yes in central KY

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  388. Yes in the small towns where I lived in Texas. Not really in the big city where I live now in Virginia. Though I’m sure it happens in the rural areas outside the city.

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  389. Yes, and I live in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is a pretty big city. But it only happens if you arrange for the police escort. When my uncle passed away, his funeral procession was the longest one I have ever been a part of or even seen. There were close to 100 vehicles. People going the opposite direction must not have been showing sufficient respect, so one driver parked his car at an angle across the entire lane. And according to family at the back of the procession, he stayed there until the end of the line. That is not typical here; just the red lights, etc.

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  390. I’m in North Eastern PA and we do this. I remember, vaguely, being told that it was very inconsiderate. And being warned about the severity of bad luck I’d earn from crossing paths with the Caravan of Death. 😂 Super low-key life lessons.

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  391. This also happens in parts of New England. My friend and I waited at least ten minutes yesterday while a huge procession exited a church parking lot in Rhode Island in front of us.

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  392. 394
    Flora Batts

    Back in the sixties here in Austin the light thing would occur, but now is logistically not possible. All the funerals I attended in North East, PA over that 25 years with my husband’s family got D) All the above. I think it really is about respect for the deceased.
    The only funeral where I’ve attended graveside services in Texas in many years is my mother’s four years ago and I can’t recall the ride from the funeral home to the cemetery. Huh. I have no clue what was provided, but I recall prices for it all.
    No memory of the ride….Grief is so fucking weird.

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  393. Yes this happens up in Iowa. So the funeral procession doesn’t get separated and no one misses any of the burial services

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  394. 396
    mimi b mcbroom

    I don’t think it has much to do with the size of the town and more to do with the traditions of the area. If you watch the last few minutes of American Sniper it shows real footage of the funeral procession from Dallas to Austin on IH 35. Headlights on, cars pulled over, people standing quietly in respect from one town to the next.

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  395. Seen it all my life – here in the south. In Atlanta, you pay a fee for the police escort, and they will block each cross-street to allow the funeral procession to pass uninterrupted.

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  396. It happens in Philadelphia, PA too!

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  397. Recently, I was biking to work, listening to music, and went a different route. I was just about to cut across a road and saw a funeral procession coming about 2 blocks away and I stopped , got off my bike and waited so I could send healing prayful thoughts to each vehicle as it passed by me. The song in my earbuds was “Save You” by Kelly Clarkson. Not sure if it impacted anyone in the cars, but it made a difference to me.

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  398. It’s a yes to this tradition in small town northwest New South Wales, Australia.

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  399. I am not from a small southern town but my Grandma and Great Grandma were both buried in Manchester, Tennessee and this is exactly what the drive from the funeral home was like. It is definitely not like where I live.

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  400. I’ve seen it happen in small towns all over the US. But it’s just not possible in the large cities. I passed a procession on Highway 280 in San Jose just a few days ago — 4-5 lanes of 65 mph traffic. The procession was traveling about 40 mph in the slow lane with 3 motorcycle police escorting. Each time a car in the next lane slowed (I assume as a sign of respect), the police waved them to proceed past them.

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  401. Yes, it was this way (and probably still is) in the small town in Michigan where I grew up. I live in a big city now and I have not seen it happen here like that.

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  402. We do this in Waco, Texas. Sometimes it’s police on motorcycles that stop traffic at all the cross streets, sometimes police cars. People usually pull over if they notice.

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  403. We do this in Waco, Texas. Sometimes it’s police on motorcycles that stop traffic at all the cross streets, sometimes police cars. People usually pull over if they notice.

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  404. 406
    L Caviness

    It’s a common courtesy that has fallen by the wayside across most of the US.

    Lolly

    PariahSickKid no longer on Twitterverse. Negativity was causing depression lies to triple. I will continue to stay subscribed to the blog, because it lifts me.

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  405. In Tasmania (Australia), no. Probably because we tend to have the place for the ceremony in or next to the cemetery.

    But my great-uncle Morris did run into the back of another car between the funeral and burial of Great Uncle Sydney. As far as I’ve since been informed, his eyesight was going and mostly he just aimed where his wife – Great Aunty Sylvie – told him to. Normally she was pretty quick on the commands.

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  406. In Tasmania (Australia), no. Probably because we tend to have the place for the ceremony in or next to the cemetery.

    But my great-uncle Morris did run into the back of another car between the funeral and burial of Great Uncle Sydney. As far as I’ve since been informed, his eyesight was going and mostly he just aimed where his wife – Great Aunty Sylvie – told him to. Normally she was pretty quick on the commands.

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  407. It depends where you live, I think. Some people don’t seem to recognize a procession until they’re IN it! I recall my Grandfather’s funeral (I was 10) in London, Ontario, where not only did cars pull over, but people walking stopped, and removed their hats. It’s all about Respect. ❤️

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  408. Here in Michigan, people on the street stop and bow their heads as the procession passes. Men take off their hats. It’s very touching.

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  409. They do it in Boston. I always figured it was not only out of respect but also so out of town mourners wouldn’t get lost.

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  410. 412
    Rodney Blackwell

    Sure does here in Alabama……….a sweet tradition. I get a good feeling showing respect to people who are going through a hard time in their lives.

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  411. 413
    Jennifer D

    We used to do this in Connecticut, but it’s not taught to kids anymore so even if you do pull over, there are always a few yahoos who cut in the procession or worse honk in anger. Manners need to make a comeback. It makes me sad that people are in such a “hurry” they can’t take a minute to show some respect.

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  412. Yes, where I grew up in rural north Florida that was the custom as a show of respect. In the city where I live now, not so much.

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  413. Growing up in Portland, OR, it was common practice. Thankfully, I haven’t been to a funeral in a long time – not sure if they still do it. I imagine paying police to do that is much more expensive now?

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  414. I live in Illinois, and I believe it’s the law to pull over for funeral processions here. And emergency vehicles

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  415. People here usually pull over IF THEY NOTICE but therein lies the problem. Everybody’s too involved in their own shit.

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  416. I live in a small community within our city and yes people do.
    However we live very close to the cemetery and have got caught in a procession more than once and had to take a tour of the entire grave yard. Lol

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  417. Yes for St Louis, although there are occasionally

    stinkers who do not follow the courtesy, but then those who have respected the procession honk-shame the rude drivers. Can be very satisfying to hear the support if you are in the procession.

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  418. I’ve only ever seen this in smaller towns! I always pull over out of respect for te family.

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  419. Huh, I’ve never heard of that. Definitely doesn’t happen where I’m from, or where I live now. It sounds super sweet though.

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  420. We do this in Florida. It all depends on if that is something wanted and if the cemetery is out back of the funeral home (a lot are). It costs for the cops who run the funerals so its an additional charge. People do pull over here as well.

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  421. Yes. I like in a smallish town in Kansas and we do this. I think it’s a lovely honor. My hope is that my procession is long and the funeral director drives super fast so that people can run stop lights AND drift around corners. Fun times!

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  422. 424
    Jennifer Firestone

    I live in the Phoenix area of Arizona. It’s state law here that funeral processions with a funeral escort have the right of way to all traffic (barring emergency vehicles), e.g., they can drive through red lights, stop signs. While it’s the law that you only have to yield, not necessarily pull over, people often do.

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  423. 425
    steveeastwood

    We do that here in Phoenix. Funeral processions get special detail police motorcycle escorts where they tag team shutting down intersections so the procession can go through unimpeded.

    Liked by 1 person

  424. It doesn’t happen here in Baltimore. If it did, there are so many killings, no one would ever get anywhere.

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  425. 427
    Shelley MacGregor

    ILLINOIS: Illinois law gives funeral processions the right-of-way at intersections when headlights are lit. The lead vehicle must comply with stop signs and traffic lights, but once it has done so, all the following vehicles can proceed without stopping, provided they exercise due caution.

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  426. It’s been a thing in every town I’ve lived in in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

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  427. Happens in Boulder Country CO. People never pass though not everyone pulls over. The ones that do are probably Heartlanders.

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  428. I live in MA and we do this too. In bigger areas the cops don’t block off every light… but people are supposed to recognise the procession and not break it up.

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  429. 431
    Pat O’Daly

    I live in Northern California and this was the same tradition when I was young. I think it is still done around here… just not as often.

    Liked by 1 person

  430. I’m in the center of Illinois. We do this, but not everyone respects it. You’re supposed to let the funeral procession go by and not cut, but some people are asshats.

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  431. Absolutely. Southern thing. Respect.

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  432. It doesn’t happen in Sacramento where I live (that I’ve seen) but it did in Salina, Kansas where my parents are buried. We got the full police escort when we took my mom’s remains from the church to the cemetery. I thought it was very nice – she lived the last of her 15 years with dementia and I still feel sad at how lonely her existence was. I appreciated that she got some recognition at the very end.

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  433. Unfortunately not everywhere. I lived in Lexington, KY and folks would. I also lived in Frederick, MD, we had to go up one block, over one block and down two blocks from the funeral home to the church. There weren’t many of us because my grandfather was 92, most of his family could not come due to weather (January), and at that age he’d outlived many… but still you would have thought that 100 cars were in line the way other drivers acted. I was the 3rd car back and someone tried to cut in front of us! Headlights on, three cars back from a hearse people! I’m not running a red light for shits and grins!

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  434. 436
    Karin Cabell

    Yes. I live in a small town in Pennsylvania.

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  435. 437
    LisaD. Schoenwetter

    I’m a retired pastor and in pretty much all of Massachusetts and Wisconsin this is still the custom. I don’t know about Boston, though.

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  436. Yes, they pull over and stop in respect for the family and sometimes they might get out and bow their heads in respect. It is very touching.

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  437. it happens in my hometown of Independence, MO population 117,000! It is so touching to see it.

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  438. 440
    Kelly Kono

    I live in Southern California and work in Pasadena, and we see this all the time outside my work. It always makes me pause and think about how precious life is.

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  439. That is dictated by the law in each state. I live in eastern PA, and I have attended funerals in NJ and found the customs to be slightly different there.

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  440. Adding to my comment above, you can be ticketed and fined in NJ for breaking into/through a funeral procession. I have seen it happen more than once.

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  441. Adding to my comment above, you can be ticketed and fined in NJ for breaking into/through a funeral procession. I have seen it happen more than once.

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  442. In my small town in eastern CO, the funeral home has a Towncar for the grieving family. The whole funeral procession puts on their lights and while there are no traffic lights, police wave the procession through stop signs and across the highway. That way everyone going to the funeral arrives at the same time to the cemetery for internment. The police, volunteer firefighters, and military in the case of vets, show up in uniform and salute or stand at attention. The church that hosts the service (as applicable) usually has boxes or small packets of tissues and bottles of water for the family. If the deceased was a member, usually the church ladies will put together a potluck dinner of donated food. The fire department also has a trailer that holds 2 commercial refrigerators with extension cords to be plugged in. They bring that over to the home of the family for the funeral and the week after (or 3 days if there’s another funeral that week.) The trailer has cleaning tools and supplies, disposable plates and flatware, donated tin foil, baggies, plastic wrap, disposable roasting pans, food containers, napkins, paper towels, bum wipe, and folding tables and chairs. I think it has some staple non perishables, like salt and pepper and maybe the odd can of beans or Rice-a-Roni. Sometimes there are thank you cards and stamps. I think this is AMAZING and a strong way for the community (2000 people in the county) to take care of the more vulnerable and the grieving. I think that if there aren’t funerals, the trailer can also be used for homes where someone is battling serious illness or has had surgery or even had a baby. It’s a free service, but when our family has needed it, we did make a donation toward the upkeep and replenishing supplies. I think it’s amazing!

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  443. In my small town in eastern CO, the funeral home has a Towncar for the grieving family. The whole funeral procession puts on their lights and while there are no traffic lights, police wave the procession through stop signs and across the highway. That way everyone going to the funeral arrives at the same time to the cemetery for internment. The police, volunteer firefighters, and military in the case of vets, show up in uniform and salute or stand at attention. The church that hosts the service (as applicable) usually has boxes or small packets of tissues and bottles of water for the family. If the deceased was a member, usually the church ladies will put together a potluck dinner of donated food. The fire department also has a trailer that holds 2 commercial refrigerators with extension cords to be plugged in. They bring that over to the home of the family for the funeral and the week after (or 3 days if there’s another funeral that week.) The trailer has cleaning tools and supplies, disposable plates and flatware, donated tin foil, baggies, plastic wrap, disposable roasting pans, food containers, napkins, paper towels, bum wipe, and folding tables and chairs. I think it has some Sometimes there are thank you cards and stamps. I think this is AMAZING and a strong way for the community (2000 people in the county) to take care of the more vulnerable and the grieving. I think that if there aren’t funerals, the trailer can also be used for homes where someone is battling serious illness or has had surgery or even had a baby. It’s a free service, but when our family has needed it, we did make a donation toward the upkeep and replenishing supplies.

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  444. I remember that happened when I was a child in Houston. I don’t see it happening much anymore – either here or in Houston.

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  445. Grew up in a medium sized suburb of Chicago and we did it there. Still a thing in more rural South Dakota. Have already taught my kids the proper funeral etiquette.

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  446. It was like this when I was kid growing up in the Bronx. My Roman Catholic grandmother would even cross herself repeatedly as the line of cars went by.

    I live in the south now but not really because my area is full of New Yorkers. I live reasonably close to our town’s only cemetery and I occasionally see a long line of cars with lights on but no one pulls over and there are never cops stopping traffic. Even though I don’t pull over, I’m careful to avoid cutting in the line. And I never cross myself because I’m not Catholic anymore.

    FWIW, my born and bred southern friends are totally unfamiliar with this custom.

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  447. I live in a suburb of New York City (on Long Island) and they do have funeral processions. Everybody leaves their lights on and follows the hearse. In general, people yield to the procession. But not always. And you do run red lights, but at your own risk. No police escort. I usually just make sure to get directions to the cemetery because I am afraid of losing the procession.

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  448. I vaguely remember that happening in upstate NY where I grew up in the 1960s. Those were the days when a hearse looked like a hearse, not a large station wagon or minivan. I feel that was at least a visual clue for people to slow down and show some respect.

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  449. This is done (out of respect) in Lawrence, KS, and has been for years.

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  450. Generally with police escort. Not just a southern thing. Usually family gets the flags, non-family are stuck hoping they can stay close (had an uncle who’s son was a trooper, fairly lengthy procession and even went under a flag hanging over the roadway from a fire truck). In that case though said uncle was very well known. Without the escort, depends on whether people are willing to let the cars through (blowing through lights is iffy if there’s no escort since there’s no one directing traffic to stop)

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  451. Sorry prob should have mentioned I’m in a small city, and I’ve seen similar in larger cities as well

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  452. I remember that from small NC towns, but it Does Not Happen in any part of Los Angeles, that is for sure!

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  453. I grew up in Chicago, and lived in a suburban area to the South of Chicago where several cemeteries were located, of various religious denominations. All of the cars in the funeral procession put their lights on. Usually a police escort was provided and they would block cross traffic at intersections to allow the funeral procession to pass by easily. Cars usually pulled over for the procession to pass by. In those days only the lead car might have a FUNERAL sign in the front window. We always held a button while the procession passed by. It was a local superstition that warded off death coming for you next. You had to hold the button until the entire procession had passed by. The pulling over was also to allow the procession to pass by easily, and not get broken up by traffic, or cars in the procession to get lost, out of respect for the dead and the grieving family. I now live in an area in California where there is only one cemetery and it’s on the other side of town, quite a bit outside of town, so I’ve never seen a funeral procession in the 20 something years I’ve been here. I’ve no idea how they do things here.

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  454. Thanks Jenny for pointing this out!

    Back in 1994 my Great Aunt died at the age of 93 in Grand Prairie, TX, near Dallas, and I drove in the funeral processional to the graveyard. She’d supported most of the town in the depression by running a grocery store and giving food on promise notes when people were struggling. I don’t think she charged interest. My Great Aunt taught me a lot of hard-earned lessons about being a woman in Texas.

    On the drive to the graveyard I was surprised and touched to see the cars on the other side of the road pull over, stop, and turn their lights on—the road had a median, so legally the cars coming the other way didn’t have to pull over. “But Honey, THEY DID.”
    That made me cry, and it still does to this day—as much as I talk s*** about Texas sometimes, those people know how to show honor and respect.
    I’ve told this story so many times because it moves me; no one seems to get it. Thank you for making it known!
    Salute to good people everywhere, Texas in particular,
    Tamara

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  455. 457
    Annie Nonmus

    Yes!!! Hometown = Charleston, Illinois

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  456. Yes. I live in Cincinnati. Only generally the funeral home provides a couple of motorbikes to block the intersections so the procession can stay together. Also the drive is often past important places to the deceased. I find it stressful to run lights and stop signs and so I hate these things.

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  457. We have it in my tiny town in Utah.

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  458. Relief Society.

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  459. Small town in CT. We wait.

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  460. When my mom died, I was honestly too emotional too notice, though I got a case of the giggles running through red lights (thinking things like, ‘I wonder if I can go through the express lane at the grocery store with more than 10 items because, you know, coffin,’). When my husband’s grandmother died, we ran ALL the lights, and went the wrong way on one-way streets. It was amazing.
    The best one was when my sister died — which is a weird sentence to write, honestly. The tradition in the rural panhandle of Florida is for everyone to pull off to the side of the road and to put on their headlights to honor the passing of a hearse, to mourn with the family, I guess. A car going the opposite way of my sister’s funeral procession didn’t honor the norm, so one of the police escort whipped a quick u-turn, put on the lights, and was in the process of chewing out the driver when we drove past. Simply awesome…..

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  461. This generally is accepted and happens in my part of southern Ontario in Canada.
    The difference being that we usually drive with headlights on anyway so we turn on our hazard lights for funerals. Police escorts are optional (you have to pay for that) however many drivers respect the funeral procession, which is led by hearses and the mourner vehicles have signs mounted on the hood to indicate their purpose. We drive straight through red lights and stop signs. (Not sure what the hurry is)
    Depending on the locale (urban Toronto or small town) oncoming drivers will either totally ignore (Toronto) or pull over to the curb (rural folks).
    I think it is special and respectful to pull over. Perhaps things have changed over time.
    When my Dad passed away in 1999 we had a police escort for the 30 km drive to the cemetery. I was humbled by the respect I saw from drivers.

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  462. We do this is Newnan, Ga. I hope we always do it…

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  463. I live in Louisville KY (population of about 605,000k; over 1 million if you count the whole county) and we do this.

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  464. God, I love you guys!
    Tamara
    Thanks Jenny! I am so sorry about your Grandfather, but he’s had a send off that is awesome. God keep you all safe. Every single one of all of you.

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  465. When my husband’s Grandmother was buried in Kentucky, People would pull over and stand outside the car and the men would remove their hats.

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  466. We do this in SD and MN

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  467. I’ve lived in the city and the suburbs of Detroit, and it still happens here. Not so much the police escort, but the hearse seems to be obvious enough for everyone to stop. We also have a tradition (maybe Polish) to drive by the deceased’s house on the ride from the church to the cemetery. Sort of giving the family a chance to see it for what may be the last time. Wishing you healing over time.

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  468. I live in Canada and, yes, we do that here too, everyone always respects the procession. I always thought it was done so that everyone involved stayed together and that bystanders were to respect it, but I don’t know for sure.

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  469. I see it regularly in Dallas, but not always.

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  470. Funeral processions have the right of way by law in Florida, with or without police escort.

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  471. 473
    Nancy Wakulczyk

    It may sound morbid, but I’ve really enjoyed skimming through these responses and seeing that North America pretty much shares this tradition across the board. It’s a cultural thing that I’ve never given much thought until now. I’m glad the tradition lives on.

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  472. Yes, to the funeral procession getting the right of way everywhere I’ve lived (NY to NC) or attended a funeral. In smaller towns other cars may fully stop, and drivers/passersby stand to honor – especially when the deceased was well known. It’s very touching. In my experience in bigger cities, that part only happens when the funeral is a more public event, but allowing the funeral procession to travel uninhibited is standard protocol. Never been to one in a “real” city, where I’d imagine it’s largely impossible.

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  473. It happened in the small town in Canada where I grew up.

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  474. I remember this from when I was a kid, and I thought it was cool then, and I grew up in a bigger metropolitan city. Now, funeral processions still have a police escort, and everyone still turns their running lights on, but no one pulls over; it’s just like a big line of ambulances going by.

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  475. I’ve seen it on Long Island in NY

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  476. I definitely saw them when I lived in Massachusetts. Once when I was on the highway, a great long line of cars in a procession was entering, which seemed dangerous to me, because cars that wanted to get off there but couldn’t cross the line were kind of stuck.

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  477. 479
    Idahobeancounter

    In my small one stoplight town of 4500 people in Idaho, this is definitely a thing. Pretty much everyone in town is at the funeral anyway so there’s that…

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  478. 480
    Denise Perry

    I live in Buffalo NY and yes, not only do they use their running lights each car has a small flag. Not all but some funerals have a police escort that stops traffic at red lights. Most people do pull over, but some people actually sneak into the caravan so they can go through red lights too

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  479. The funeral processions I’ve seen in small town Idaho and Washington also get treated as a sad parade that everyone else waits for. I never actually saw a funeral procession in the bigger cities.

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  480. 482
    Lily Lavender

    It may be a southern thing? I lived all my life in several different southern States, including Texas, but I haven’t seen it done since coming to California. Of course I’m in San Francisco and there isn’t a cemetery in the city.

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  481. In my smaller towns I’ve lived in, that’s the tradition (I’ve lived north), but since moving to a bigger city in Missouri, I see a mix.

    Liked by 1 person

  482. I grew up in a small town west of Chicago, and people always gave right-of-way to a funeral procession. I don’t think it’s so much a southern thing as a small town thing. In a small town, that hearse might very well be carrying someone you know.

    Liked by 1 person

  483. 485
    Julie Argo

    Not only does this happen in Tulsa, OK, but before my grandfather died, he requested that when we went from the church to the cemetery, we were to drive with one person per car, babies, children, and the elderly excepted. He wanted to have as long of a line as possible to piss off anyone pulled over who may have been in a hurry. 😂

    I love that man so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  484. 486
    Shannon McConnell

    I agree Jenny, in the small town I grew up in Ky we did same thing and in the larger town I moved to when I was grown. But now living in Memphis I see less of it but to keep funeral processions from being interrupted cops usually are with them to make sure they make it through intersections.

    Liked by 1 person

  485. Here, everyone turns on their emergency flashers and gets to go through stop lights. The procession has right of way and the only thing that can pass them without getting someone screaming curses is emergency vehicles. The downside is sometimes you accidentally wind up in a procession without meaning to because someone forgot their headlights or flashers.

    Liked by 1 person

  486. Yes, this definitely happens in Lawrence, KS. It’s a dear thing, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  487. I lived for all but the last 16 months on the west coast. A police escort from church to grave site is uncommon, usually reserved for the wealthy. As a part of learning to drive in western North Carolina I was told about the tradition. I have a horrid fear I’ll be accidentally disrespectful not recognizing what’s going on and try to merge with the vehicle procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  488. 490
    Kellee Repko

    Yes in Southern California. I’ve lived here 60 years and we have always done this.

    Liked by 1 person

  489. It’s the norm in Minnesota and in Iowa. The funeral home staff has a couple of reps in the parking lot who have funeral flags on magnetized bases that they put on the hood of your car on the drivers’ side. Almost all drivers along the route to the cemetery know to wait for the procession to pass, but the occasional yahoo making a quick exit from a parking lot has that slow realization that they have become part of something unexpected.

    Liked by 1 person

  490. 493
    Stacey Conway

    That’s how we do it in Savannah GA.

    Liked by 1 person

  491. Where I live, there is a procession with a police escort through intersections and traffic lights, but other drivers show no respect. When I went home to the small town I grew up in for my aunt’s funeral, however, everyone does. In fact, near the cemetery construction was active for a small retail site. The construction crew stopped working in respect during the graveside rites. You just had to love them for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  492. It’s the norm in West Virginia,both small towns and bigger ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  493. I grew up in a small town in eastern Illinois and that was what you were taught to do out of respect. I notice now that I live in St. Louis it doesn’t happen as often – I put it down to a faster pace of life, people in the city weren’t taught this, and just plan rudeness.

    Liked by 1 person

  494. Yup! Happens in ours too. It’s very sweet, and I wish bigger towns could afford such niceties. Our police officers usually take off their hats as a sign of respect as well.
    On another sort of related note, I’ve been looking up cemetery superstitions and apparently it’s bad luck to count the number of cars in a procession and it’s also bad luck to break a funeral procession.

    Liked by 1 person

  495. Yes in Indiana. Rural, small town, and big city (Indy) alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  496. This happens where I live in North Carolina even without police presence – though we noticed in the last couple processions that fewer people stopped, and it seemed to be older people who did. When I lived in Vermont, we wouldn’t break the procession up, but I don’t remember traffic in the other direction stopping as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  497. I grew up in Salina KS and this was a thing there. When I was in high school a friend passed away and so the funeral was overflowing and the line of cars immense as we traveled all the way across town to the cemetery. A dear friend offered to drive me and a handful of others, knowing it was probably unsafe for us to drive ourselves. We all piled in his car, a mess of tears and kleenexes and whatever combination of black clothes we could find in our teenage closets our moms deemed appropriate and he joined in the line of cars. One of noticed he didn’t have his lights on to show he was part of the procession and told him to turn them on. He PRETENDED to and kept going. For some reason turning his lights on was something he felt weird doing (as if our week hadn’t been weird enough). Soon all of us were yelling TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS and he held fast to the fact he HAD when we knew he only pretended to. I remember by the time we got to the cemetery, all of us had started crying out of sheer ridiculousness – the wave of grief breaking in some small, needful way. As we got out of the car, clinging to each other in the weird space between overwhelming grief and hope that there could be light again, someone turned and told him he left his lights on and he ran back to check. EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ONLY PRETENDED THE WHOLE TIME. I’ll never forget watching him run back while all of us looked at each other in share silent mirth. That week our driver friend showed up for those of us hit hard in a million small ways – but that ruse he pulled the twenty-minute drive to the gravesite is the one that really saved my soul. I”ll never forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

  498. 501
    Dale Shinskey

    I thought it happened everywhere, but I grew up in Tampa, FL and live in Gainesville, FL and yes it happens all the time. I thought it was a show of respect that happened all over the place.

    Liked by 1 person

  499. Yes it does in Connecticut. Longer processions have funeral flags on the hood so you know to pull over and wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  500. 503
    Kim Karvelas

    Yes, it does still happen here in Houston, TX

    Liked by 1 person

  501. I would think that separation of church & state would make it unconstitutional to make a law regarding funeral processions in particular (I’m an atheist, so why should you be able to force your religious beliefs on my driving on a public road?). I could see some law regarding police-escorted convoys & parades, though…..

    Liked by 1 person

  502. I’m from the thumb region of MI and it’s standard to turn on headlights and hazard lights. The first and last car have flags on them and the funereal procession stays together, even if there are red lights or stop signs. Other vehicles don’t need to pull over and/or stop, but there are areas that they will. Also, I don’t know if any other areas do this, but all my older relatives used to tell us to never count the number of vehicles in the procession or you risk a family member dying soon…scared the crap out of me as a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  503. I’m from central Indiana, and we do this. I remember a farmer on a tractor in a field on the side of the road stopping, taking off his hat, and holding it over his heart as we went by in the funeral procession for my dad. I still tear up thinking about it nearly 20 years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  504. 507
    carolyn gill

    It’s not just a southern thing, I’m from New England and we did this up there too, when I was younger. However, nowadays, people are so self centered that they don’t even pull over for ambulances/fire trucks half of the time, so I don’t see it happening as often. Most states have laws about funeral processions and what other vehicles, who are not in the procession, should and shouldn’t do. But, all states have laws about emergency vehicles and people don’t abide by those either. It’s the world we are turning into, unfortunately. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  505. I’ve seen this in Ohio and Indiana.

    Liked by 1 person

  506. Use to be that way, and if anyone was out walking along the route men would remove their hats as the cortege passed by – I thought it was a sweet and thoughtful gesture. Sadly that small tradition has gone the way of the dodo.

    Liked by 1 person

  507. I live in a suburb of the Oakland/San Francisco area, right next to a cemetery, and I almost never see this happen. Pretty much never.

    Liked by 1 person

  508. I live in a pretty big city in NYS and we have always done this. We usually have motorcycle cops to go ahead to intersections and block traffic. On the expressway, we don’t pull over but we also don’t cut into the funeral procession and have to wait until they all go past.

    Liked by 1 person

  509. I live in a small city in southern Indiana and people around here tend towards southern ways. Here the funeral home puts little flags on the cars that are in the funeral procession and it is led by a motorcycle cop. Lots of people pull over and stop for the procession – not everyone does.

    Liked by 1 person

  510. Happens in Seattle. I believe you have to pay for the police escort.

    Liked by 1 person

  511. This happens a lot where I am from (Huntsville, Texas), and I see it where I live now (Austin area). My husband and I recently got caught in one and didn’t realize it until we were being told to turn into a cemetery and my husband was like WHAT IS HAPPENING!? (when were driving between Austin and Huntsville).

    Liked by 1 person

  512. It’s done in small town Ohio and the few larger cities where I have attended funerals in our area. Not only is it about respect I think it allows everyone to get to the cemetery at the same time so no one misses the service because they were caught in traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

  513. 516
    Robyn Volker

    It’s common in Central NJ.

    Liked by 1 person

  514. I’m from just outside Atlanta, GA and they still do this. I live in Fort Worth, TX now and we do the same here too.

    Liked by 1 person

  515. I’m from Minnesota. I was taught to pull over if I’m driving and I still do it here in California. I also turn off my car radio out of respect because nobody at a funeral wants to listen to my music – or any music. Back when men always wore hats, they would remove their hats when the procession passed.

    Liked by 1 person

  516. Yes, the small towns in North Georgia still do this. I think it is very sweet as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  517. Big city gal from NYC – and yes – we do this too. Please note – I’d suggest most would like/prefer to get OUT of the way of my crazy as F family (grieving or not) if trying to drive one behind the other. I think this is just a good rule regardless.

    AND – we get all the bells and whistles (and when i say that i mean sirens and lights) when it’s someone in my husbands family – they’re Italian and have lots of folks on the force 🙂 So that’s fun too!

    Hugs and keep your smiles on – it’s a bumpy ride as always….

    XOXOXOXStacy

    Liked by 1 person

  518. If you’ve never heard Jeanne Robertson’s 7-Up Pound Cake story, which includes her town’s tradition of making a 7-up cake for every funeral, it is hilarious! Wishing you and your family the best during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  519. This is super common in New Orleans – cops involved, parking lights on, at whatever distance involved. I’ve also seen it for weddings.

    Like

  520. Yes. In our small Nebraska town, the police escort the hearse and also stop traffic for the funeral procession to run the lights and stop signs, and people pull over while it goes by.
    Thinking of you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  521. It is common decency here. Some people aren’t taught to do so, but they should be..

    Liked by 1 person

  522. Nope, that happened all the time when I lived in Toledo and when I went to Chicago two summers ago for a funeral, we did the same thing just outside the city. There wasn’t always a police car, but if one saw us, they’d join in or stop traffic. The only difference was everyone in the line had to have their hazard lights on and usually you’d have a sticker on the front of your windshield or a flag on your driver’s side door so they knew when the end of the line was.

    Liked by 1 person

  523. As I understand it, the police are off-duty and provided as a service if the family wants to hire them. If a friend or family member is law enforcement, they will usually donate their time, and it’s usually the motorcycle patrols. It’s not always done, but with larger processions it makes it easier to keep everyone together. I think it is still customary to let a procession go unbroken, even without the police to block the intersections. I’ve noticed that pulling your car to the side, stopping, and letting them get by before you keep driving is prevalent in urban neighborhoods and in the country around town. I’ve actually seen it downtown, too. It’s not uncommon for people in the other cars to bow their heads and say a prayer for the deceased and the mourners. This is in Birmingham, AL and the surrounding areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  524. Chicago suburbs and central Illinois: no police, people don’t pull over, but you definitely get to go through red lights, and no one makes a fuss about it. I’d say people are respectful, but they don’t pull over. Small town Illinois pulls over though (in my experience).

    Liked by 1 person

  525. I recently moved to a small city Atlantic Canada after living most of my life in the west, and the first time I experienced this was for my uncle’s funeral here a couple of years ago. I actually had to ask my cousin why all the other vehicles were pulling over. It was a very kind gesture and something I hadn’t seen living out west.

    Liked by 1 person

  526. That’s a lovely tradition. Would be awful if you lost track of the procession & didnt know where to go…very thoughtful of them to help you all stay together. Here in Oz it’s lights on to let people know…but no running red lights. Only ppl exempt are ambulances & police.

    Liked by 1 person

  527. The last funeral I attended that had a procession did have the police, running red lights, unbroken line of cars, etc. This was back in 1972 in Tacoma, Wa, population 154,407 in 1970. According to a 2018 article, Tacoma still has escorts.

    Liked by 1 person

  528. It happens in the Denver Metro. Many people are rude and don’t stop, but the police will hold up traffic if they’re hired. The family of the person who the processional is for has to pay the police for this service, though. It’s not just something they do, so not everyone gets to have that feature at their dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  529. It happens here in Dallas.

    Liked by 1 person

  530. It happens in Indianapolis for sure….but I associate it more with certain cemeteries (bigger ones), and it’s a given if the deceased was a public servant or well known in any way. Perhaps it is as in Denver, where it has to be paid for (whether by the city or by the family, depending on the circumstances). So, not just a southern thing….

    Liked by 1 person

  531. Yes, this is a tradition in Rockford, Illinois.

    Liked by 1 person

  532. Not only does this still happen in Michigan, but it’s enshrined in the law:

    MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT)
    Act 300 of 1949

    257.654 Vehicles forming part of funeral procession; right-of-way; flags; passing through funeral procession with vehicle as civil infraction.
    Sec. 654.

    (1) A motor vehicle forming part of a funeral procession, when going to a place of burial, shall have the right of way over all other vehicles except fire apparatus, ambulances, and police patrol vehicles at a street or highway intersection within this state if the vehicle in the funeral procession displays a flag which shall be fluorescent orange in color, and upon which shall be printed, stamped, or stained a black cross, the star of David, or the crescent and star. The lead vehicle and the last vehicle in the funeral procession may carry an additional flag. The flags shall not contain a name embossed or printed on the flag, except the word “funeral”.
    (2) A person passing through a funeral procession of motor vehicles, designated pursuant to subsection (1), with a vehicle of any kind, is responsible for a civil infraction.

    Liked by 1 person

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  533. Happens in Upstate NY too. 2 or 3 motorcycle cops escorting the procession, blocking traffic, running red lights. I understand it’s illegal to cut through the line of cars too.

    Liked by 1 person

  534. I started reading comments, to see if my info would be helpful, but dang that’s a lotta comments!! So I apologize if I’m retelling info. In Missouri, certain things are on the books as laws, like pulling over to give right of way to the procession. And all the towns/cities I’ve been to funerals in have had the police blocking traffic lights and (here in rural MO) the off ramps from the interstate. I think part of the reason for the cops helping the procession get through as a whole is that it would take an hour in some places, from the hearse to the last mourner to get to the graveside. I know that it is illegal to cut into the middle of a procession, breaking the line of mourners. Of course with so many vehicles having daytime running lights, it’s hard to tell there’s a procession. I hope my tidbits help to distract you momentarily. Sometimes in the first little bit after losing someone, distraction is about as good as it gets. Take care of you and your family, and hopefully you’ll start to heal soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  535. Yes – definitely a Southern thing. Although the police in my area are no longer allowed to assist with funeral processions, almost everyone else always pulls over and lets the mourning pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  536. I live in metro Detroit area and yes, it’s a “thing” here too. However, I’m not a fan of being in the processional group of cars as I don’t always trust other drives to stop/give way. When my Aunt Butch (Florence) she had requested NO processional as they didn’t think it was a safe practice. She also requested “Happy Trails to You” be played at the funeral. So, there’s that

    Liked by 1 person

  537. You have to pay for that “service” if you want to do a processional and have police stop people and let you run lights. Mostly people don’t bother. I can imagine it is quite costly. You pay for all those cops.

    Liked by 1 person

  538. 541
    Pat Rousseau

    Happens in Fort Worth Texas still!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  539. 542
    Reycca Dotson

    I’ve never come across these dresses but they’re beautiful! For sure checking them out 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  540. 543
    Beverly J Jackson

    I’ve been thinking about ordering from them for a while. Thanks!

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  541. 544
    Alana Laliberte

    I have a wedding to attend in November, I’ll have to look at their collection. I love any dress with pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

  542. 545
    Alexandra Persephone

    It happens in Vermont all the time, although I have seen people in the Burlington area disregard the usual rural community niceties that the rest of the state still hold dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  543. It was done in Utah for my grandmother and we also had a police escort. It was very respectful.

    Liked by 1 person

  544. You had me at pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

  545. Happens in Denver, CO!

    Liked by 1 person

  546. I always want to order, but I usually don’t because I get stuff for the kids or fabric because “I’ll make something” yeah…. my sewing hobby had morphed into a fabric collecting hobby. 😅😅

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  547. I’m in PA. People used to pull over but that courtesy seems to be a thing of the past. They do, or are supposed to, get the right of way through red lights and stop signs.

    Liked by 1 person

  548. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MENTION POCKETS! It’s, like, part of girl code! ❤ Pockets are the best!

    That last dress is amazing. I was just about to say “but you’re taller than me…I wonder if it would look as good on me” and then remember that they height customize, so it’s a really good chance! 😀

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    Laurie recently posted small "f*ck it." pendant -- Hand Stamped Sterling Silver Necklace (mature language) by IntermezzoDesigns.

  549. JFC…I clicked to comment under the wrong post. Disregard. :/

    Like

    Laurie recently posted small "f*ck it." pendant -- Hand Stamped Sterling Silver Necklace (mature language) by IntermezzoDesigns.

  550. From Wisconsin, so it is definitely not just a southern thing. We do this here in our town of about 45K. Some of our biggest cemeteries are outside of the city limits and they drive slowly on the highways as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  551. This is JUST the incentive I need to order from eShakti. I’ve been meaning to, for real, but now I have an upcoming wedding to attend and I really need a dress now. Plus, I ❤ pockets!

    I certainly remember funeral processions the way you’ve described. I doubt it would happen here in “Metropolis” unless the police were there to ensure it was happening. My sincere condolences to you and your fam.

    Sadly, no blog, just a Twitter account. I’m just not that interesting. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Liked by 1 person

  552. We do this in small and medium-sized towns in Ohio. I am not sure about the big cities, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  553. 556
    Ariel Riley

    I live in Atlanta now, so yeah, no – a drop of rain causes bumper to bumper traffic for hours, so pulling over for the dozens of funerals a day ain’t gonna happen. But in every small town I’ve lived in it’s like this. I have specifically asked that if my family gives me a funeral (they get to pick everything – I’ll be gone…), I want it in a small town strictly for this reason!

    Liked by 1 person

  554. 557
    Lauren Linehan

    This totally happened in my home town, a little place of about 10,000 in NW Oregon. Now I live in the SF bay area and there is no respect for any other drivers on the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  555. Mt Vernon, Illinois. 20,000 people and that is common practice there.

    In my teen years, if I came up on the back end of a funeral procession, I would turn my lights on and join in so I could run all the lights all the way through town.

    Liked by 1 person

    Brett Minor recently posted We Call Them Melons In America.

  556. It doesn’t happen here, it’s not uncommon for people to cut into the funeral procession

    Liked by 1 person

  557. So sorry for your loss. Yes, we do that here in my part of NJ, w/ our hazards flashing and sometimes the funeral home will attach a banner to each car.

    Liked by 1 person

  558. It may depend on who the dearly departed is. I attended a funeral for a friend’s father who was a former CIA agent/Marine and we got to run 22 miles worth of red lights with a police procession for 22 miles from Fredericksburg, VA to the Quantico Marine Base (about 33 miles south of Washington, DC). I had never been part of that grand of a procession and some people not only pulled over onto the side of the road, but got out and stood beside their cars (not in the road TG because I was already drunk with power running all of the red lights). I imagine the folks in that area see a lot of marine funerals so they’ve been trained. I am sorry for your loss, Jenny.

    Liked by 1 person

  559. I live in South Carolina, and it sometimes happens here. We saw a procession a few days ago, escorted by not one, but four police cars. Sometimes there’s one escort, sometimes none.

    Liked by 1 person

  560. On Long Island where I am from yes! In Atlanta where I live now, no.

    Liked by 1 person

  561. In MN, it’s required by law that you pull over/yield to the procession if they’re identified with headlights on and staying in close formation. Even on the interstate.

    Liked by 1 person

  562. I’ve seen it happen in San Antonio and in Austin.

    Liked by 1 person

  563. I live in Plano, just north of Dallas. Funeral processions usually have a police escort, and the police will absolutely pull you over if you don’t yield.

    Liked by 1 person

  564. So, we don’t typically do this in my town, but it’s happened occasionally. I’ve been in enough places that DO do this to always feel like I should… People in the town where I grew up barely pull over for ambulances, incidentally. I think pulling to the side for a funeral procession is incredibly respectful and human. Practically speaking, it’s bound to be safer, too?
    Also, thanks for the rec and code for eShakti! I have never checked them out despite the previous recs… sounds like I need to already!

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  565. This does not happen in my town and I had pretty much forgotten that it used to happen until my best friend passed away unexpectedly 3 years ago. Her parents are from some small town an hour and a half/two hours from civilization, so they had her services there. I was absolutely devastated by her passing. She and I had a thing that whenever certain songs by Def Leppard or Bon Jovi came on the radio, no matter what we were doing or wherever we were, we could call the other and sing the songs very loudly to each other. As I turned into the funeral home for the service, Bon Jovi came on the radio….and I lost my shit. Hysterical, ugly crying in the parking lot for 20 minutes, you know, just to amp the emotions of the day. I may have cussed her out for sending me that particular message at that exact moment……. Anyhoo… after the service, we had to drive ANOTHER 45 minutes further into the country down a 2 lane road to get to the cemetary…..and the entire time, every car we passed pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the entire procession to go by. After the total breakdown before the service, it was such a balm for my battered soul.

    She was a bit of a wild child and definitely one the entire town would have whispered about behind her back the way only small towns where everyone knows everyone else going back a thousand generations can. But the sweetness and respect for the one we lost and those mourning someone they loved by every single one of those people, pulling their cars to the side of the road and waiting until we had gone by? That is a moment that I cherish and have spoken about many times since.

    Liked by 1 person

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  566. I grew up in Indiana and that was our norm too. I’m in the DC area now- I’ve seen people do it here, but not everyone does it. It seems like it starts that way, but then there are jerks (or people who don’t know the rules) that will break into the line, so the later cars kinda drop off. But the first dozen or so tend to make it to the cemetery in a line. There generally is a police car in front, and the don’t stop at stop lights.

    Liked by 1 person

  567. 570
    Jillian Young

    I live in a small town in Canada, and while we have no traffic lights here in my town, yes, everyone pulls over and lets a funeral procession pass by politely.

    When my cousin passed away (young & suddenly), his funeral was in his hometown, but his burial was in a cemetery in my aunt’s hometown, 45 minutes away. We all convoyed from the church to the cemetery and I was so surprised and comforted by the many people who pulled over to let us pass on the journey. Not everyone – we were on busy highways – but I was touched by how many did. Not only that, as we passed the home he grew up in, the procession paused “for one last good-bye” – pretty damn near broke my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  568. 571
    Geri Diorio

    Southern New England, here – it’s a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  569. I’m Canadian and my hometown doesn’t do this but my mother’s hometown does.

    Liked by 1 person

  570. Hello from Canada! Yes, we do it here too. I’m sorry for your loss

    Liked by 1 person

  571. I live in Portland OR and it does happen here, but very rarely. They have police officers stop traffic in the intersections and the family has to pay the city for the officer’s time.

    Liked by 1 person

  572. I’m from VA and we have always pulled over for a funeral procession. It’s respectful and common courtesy.

    Liked by 1 person

  573. Yep here in Huntsville Alabama it’s a thing. Honestly was a big pain in the ass when I lived near our best known cemetery. With the few comments I scanned through looks like maybe it’s yet another southern thing I didn’t realize was southern.

    Liked by 1 person

  574. 577
    Brittany Always

    Happens in NC, at least in the multiple cities I’ve lived with (from 35000-95000 populatino).

    Liked by 1 person

  575. never heard of this. pretty much seem to be treated like any other car, Im in London uk. except the bit where the guy walks in front of the hearse for a little way. wait, does the guy walk a little way in America?

    Liked by 1 person

  576. I’m from the Midwest everything comes to a halt for the funeral procession

    Liked by 1 person

  577. I grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana. This was very common there (50-60k people in my youth). My grandma, who ran the cemetery, said it was a tradition to show respect to the deceased.

    Liked by 1 person

  578. Seen it often in various towns outside Boston MA — but I’m guessing it’s different in the city

    Liked by 1 person

  579. Happens all the time in my hometown in Southeast Missouri. My husband, who grew up in New Jersey, had no idea what was happening the first time he experienced it.

    Liked by 1 person

  580. This happens where I’m from in Western PA

    Liked by 1 person

  581. It happened in my small town in North Texas, but I literally just pulled over for one yesterday in San Antonio. They have police escorts with SAPD motorcycle cops.

    Liked by 1 person

  582. I live in KS and this happens in my town and every town I have ever been in to attend a funeral or seeing a funeral procession. People who don’t pull over get frowned upon!!

    Like

  583. People still do all the things you have mentioned in my little corner of Virginia. I was taught to pull over as long as it was safe. Mountains have curvy roads, and one does not wish to be the guest of honor at the next funeral in town. You also wait for the entire procession to go by unless you want to mess up your karma.

    Like

  584. Yeah happens all the time in the UK too!

    Like

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