July 2022

Page A12 JULY 2022 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A www.vischerfuneralsupplies.com Shkarivska stated, “It is very important to bury everybody in a proper way who was killed.” In Mariupol, deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov told the BBC, “Some we can’t identify but some had documents.”He went on to reveal that the situation was so dire that street cleaners and road repair teams were collecting bodies in the streets because municipal services have collapsed. Reporter Emily Cleary wrote, “Orlov said that thousands of residents are hiding in cellars beneath the city, and some are burying family members privately in courtyards or gardens.” Dozens of “Ukrainian Telegram Groups” have formed with tens of thousands of members.They have one purpose: “Ensuring the thousands who died during the Russian assaults are given a proper burial.” In many cases they are also ensuring that the remains are found in the first place. The members collect and coordinate any piece of information they can find – lists of missing citizens, where graves are known to be, pictures and videos of the missing, graves or grave markers – checking all forms of social media. One member reported: “I joined the group to let people know that my father had been killed and, I don’t know, to share my grief.” Her father had been killed putting out a fire and her mother was forced to bury him with her own hands. She had no choice but to inter him next to the building where they lived. Their daughter vows to return to that area and give her father a dignified burial. Anthropologist Dimitris Xygalatas has stated, “The right to a burial is acknowledged even for one’s foes. The Geneva Convention stipulates that the belligerent must ensure that the bodies of enemies are ‘honorably interred’ and that their graves are respected and ‘properly maintained and marked so that they can be found.’” He points out that the need for closure is indispensable. Any organization that deals with death, especially sudden death, has the same philosophy as the military: the return of all our dead. History reminds us that this may take years, even decades, but their identification and a dignified burial will be done. “Funerary rites are ostensibly about the dead. But their importance lies in the roles they play for the living.” —Dimitris Xygalatas Observations “War is synonymous with death, but its emotional toll extends beyond the loss of life. The inability to say farewell to one’s loved ones and lay them to rest can often be just as painful.” —Dimitris Xygalatas Olena Koval’s husband was shot by Russian soldiers in their Bucha, Ukraine home. Olena was in a safe place elsewhere. The notification of his death came by text. It was winter with the harsh cold and her physical problems. Olena tried to get back to her home to get her husband buried and soldiers turned her away. Olena and her family were forced to leave the onslaught. She left a note with a neighbor to plead that he would be buried. Dimitris Xygalatas, an anthropologist and cognitive scientist, states, “Humans have always cared for their dead – so much that archaeologists often consider mortuary rites among the traits that distinguish homo-sapiens from other species. In other words, it is a fundamental part of being human.” His statement reminds us that people need to mourn properly and the war in Ukraine, as have many wars before it, cruelly prevents that from happening. Mykola Yevhen and his brothers were forced into a basement where they were kept for several days by Russian soldiers, CNN reported. They were interrogated and tortured. They were blindfolded and Mykola was beaten with a metal rod. On the fourth day, the brothers were shot. Mykola was shot in the cheek, the bullet exiting through his right ear, but he played dead and was kicked into a shallow pit grave with his brothers. His feet and hands were bound, but, after he was sure the enemy was gone, he raised himself from the grave by pushing his older brother Dymytro’s dead body off of him. He staggered through fields to a friendly home, received medical care and recovered from his wounds. When the Russians retreated from the area, he went to find the pit that contained the bodies of his brothers. “He knew he had to find his brothers to give them the decent burial they deserved.” It was a month later that he was able to lay his brothers to rest. He did so with an “elaborate tombstone and a welltended grave.” Many Ukrainian fatalities did not have the opportunity for a family burial. When the morgues and holding faciliBy Steven Palmer ties for the dead could not handle any more, city officials took matters into their own hands and performed mass burials. The AP reported that “a deep trench 27 yards long dug into an old cemetery,” was filled with the dead from “morgues and private homes.” The workers did their jobs with no family members present and no ceremony. A shell landed in the cemetery, delaying the burials. The cemeteries of Cherniv are filled. They must inter new burials upon the old. According to the Daily Mirror, Cherniv’s mayor said, “The city cemetery cannot handle all the dead, so we are keeping people in morgues and refrigerators longer than normal…We are burying people in the old cemeteries that haven’t been used in a while.” In Kharkov N18 Cemetery in Bezlyudivka, a burial of three Ukrainian soldiers included a military chaplain reading prayers, incensing of the caskets, and one relative, another soldier, was present. It was one of the few times that respects like these could be held. NBC reporter Phil McCusland reported the tragedies in Bucha. Inna Leschenko, 45, left her hiding place in the basement of her apartment building to find clean water. When she ventured outside, she was hit by shrapnel from a Russian shell and was killed. After the bombing ceased, her family went out, retrieved her body, and buried her in “a small grass island.” When Ukrainian forces took back Bucha, Leschenko was exhumed and taken to a morgue for identification. A month later, released to her family, she was properly laid to rest. In the capital Kyviv, it was ghastlier. Four hundred or more were killed, some laid inmass graves and some were left where they died. As safety would permit, the recovery effort began and officials sought to identify the dead. Their work to find the dead, and to find living relatives to help with identification, was arduous at best. Several volunteers sat outside the morgues interviewing family members to get identification information about their missing relatives. Complete strangers buried the dead where they could. Gardens and any available open area were used for these burials. Exhumations are now taking place in war crime investigations, identification is being made and released to the families. Those killed and temporarily abandoned are now being buried by loving family members. An advisor to the mayor of Bucha, Mykailyna SkorykWar & Grief Steven Palmer entered funeral service in 1971. He is an honors graduate of the New England Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences. He has been licensed on both coasts, he owned theWestcott Funeral Homes of Cottonwood and Camp Verde, AZ, where he remains active in operations. Steve offers his observations on current funeral service issues. Hemay be reachedbymail at POBox 352, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, by phone at (928)634-9566, by fax at (928)634-5156, by e-mail at steve@westcottfuneralhome.comor throughhiswebsite at www.westcottfuneralhome.com or on Facebook. F U N E R A L H O M E & C E M E T E R Y N E W S w w w . N o m i s P u b l i c a t i o n s . c o m Monthly Columnsonline at Jack “Sonny” Meyer Appointed to Kentucky Board Jack “Sonny” Meyer LOUISVILLE,KY— Jack “Sonny” Meyer has been appointed by Governor Andy Beshear to the Kentucky Board of Embalmers & Funeral Directors, effective as of June 1, 2022. Meyer is a third-generation embalmer, funeral director, and chairman of the board of Herman Meyer & Son, Inc in Louisville. Meyer previously served two terms on the board under Governor Steve Beshear, father of Governor Andy Beshear. “I’m honored to be nominated and look forward to serving on the board,” Meyer said of his appointment, announced on May 13, 2022, “I am happy to give of my time and experience.” SNFC Reports Financial Results for the Quarter SALT LAKE CITY,UT— Security National Financial Corporation (SNFC) (NASDAQ: SNFCA) announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2022. For the three months ended March 31, 2022, SNFC’s after-tax earnings from operations decreased 73% from $12,129,000 in 2021 to $3,229,000 in 2022, on a 17% decrease in revenues to $102,426,000. Scott M. Quist, President of the Company, said: “While obviously we are well below 2021 income levate to remove macro distortions. So, if we compare Q1 2022 to Q1 2019, trying to remove the Pandemic effects somewhat, our Q1 2022 results are 83% above our Q1 2019 results. To me, that is a solid performance. In our Death Care Segment, demand has been and continues to be very high. Meeting that demand and providing the level of care and service has become more difficult and more expensive as the labor market has tightened and costs for just about all goods have increased. Congratulations to our dedicated staffs who have worked significant overtime trying to meet families’ needs. Despite the increased costs, operationally we had good results. All things considered I believe we should have justifiable pride in our operational performance.” For more information and full results, visit www.securitynational.com. els, I believe we had a very solid first quarter. Our goal is always to improve our financial performance every year, but sometimes to measure that incremental progress, it is appropri- @Nomis.Publ ications Like us on