February 2024

Page A12 february 2024 www.vischerfuneralsupplies.com The Revolutionary First Call Pouch, Cot Cover, & Pet Carrier Solution Other cemeteries hold similar events but on a smaller scale. Conejo Mountain Memorial Park in Camarillo, California also holds “Dia De Los Muertos: The Grand Fandango De La Muerte,” “Manteniendo Familias Unidas” (Keeping Families Together). Admission is free and there are altar building, face painting, local food, a vintage car show and a ceremonial procession. These innovative memorial parks bring a living vitality to the place of the dead. It gives value to graves, so that their inhabitants can be forever remembered. These events bring together generations and allow elders to tell younger family members who this relative was, what they accomplished and what legacy they left. “I thought of a moment like this for a longtime. A place and a ceremony that incorporates my culture, my life, the people I belong to, and our ancestors. Our collective ancestors.” —Actor Gael Garcia Bernal after being handed an award by Jessica Alba at the Hollywood Forever DOD evening ceremony Photos courtesy Cindy Flores, used with permission. Observations “Dia de los muertos is a way for me to remember and honor my ancestors and keep their memorial alive. It’s a celebration of life and it’s colorful and happy.” —Bria Luna quoted in TODAY.com Hollywood Memorial Park, next to Paramount Studios, in Los Angeles was (and still is) a popular resting place for celebrities. Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Mel Blanc, Mickey Rooney, Cecil B. DeMille, “Bugsy” Siegel and Estelle Getty are just a few of notable names that call the cemetery home. The cemetery went through a downslide that that was at its worst in the 70s and 80s. In 1998, the Cassity family purchased the cemetery and Tyler Cassity had a vision of not only restoring the memorial park to its previous luster but celebrating those interred there. Hollywood Forever (the current name) was born. Film showings, live concerts and other events to commemorate the lives of those who rest there. It invites the public to visit and remember without the sorrow that a cemetery usually brings. Deisy Marquez brought the idea of celebrating the “Day of the Dead” (Dia de Los Muertos) as an event. Tyler Cassity embraced the idea, and they researched appropriate ways to combine many different cultures that honor their dead each year. Day of the Dead emanated from Mexico with Aztec ritual roots. It is usually celebrated on All Souls Day (November 2), where the Catholic Church remembers and prays for those who have died. Dia de Los Muertos is not a solemn event but encourages building altars honoring family members. Favorite foods, music, flowers (especially marigolds), sharing stories are all a part a family celebration. Each Hispanic culture and country observes Day of the Dead in a different way. Deisy Marquez wanted to “bring culture for Hispanics and Mexicans to visit their dead.” She talked about keeping their memory alive and many believe it is a time that brings the living and their deceased family members together for By Steven Palmer one day. There was a lot of resistance when they first developed the idea. 1020 AM in Los Angeles believed in her dream and invited her to spread the idea on the air. Actor Edward James Olmos heard about this project and helped bring in Hispanic community members to start the momentum. The first year had family put together altars (or ofrendas) with pictures of their dead and flowers, whether their family member was buried at Hollywood Forever or not, music, simple face painting and food. The Dia de Los Muertos event has grown to attract thousands of visitors and participants. Held on the last Saturday before November 2, it has two parts, a daytime celebration and evening celebration with tickets required for each. Elaborate costumes and detailed make-up are very common. You can register to build a family altar. Food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, grammy award winning musicians on five stages, awards ceremony with celebrities in the evening. Altar contests and best dressed with Calaca (skeleton) are held. The large row of vendors includes professional cosmetologists that do very elaborate make-up in the Day of the Dead theme. Cindy Flores is one who has had a booth for several years. A lot of what she does uses Dinair Airbrush equipment producing stunning results. She won 1st place last year and 2nd place this year. She originally became involved to honor her brother and father. Bringing Life to a Cemetery 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 the Westcott Funeral Homes of Cottonwood and Camp Verde, AZ, where he remains active in operations. Steve offers his observations on current funeral service issues. He may be reached by mail at PO Box 352, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, by phone at (928)634-9566, by fax at (928)634-5156, by e-mail at steve@westcottfuneralhome.com or through his website at www.westcottfuneralhome.com or on Facebook. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.NomisPublications.com Monthly Columnsonline at Call: 661-250-1507 • Visit: www.XLIndustries.com Available Through Quality Suppliers Made in USA Unique items found only at xl industries Providing the Best-Designed Tools for Your Services Since 1926. Dozens of products that give you years of service and store compactly when not in use. Lightweight and easy to take to gravesides or churches. Pole Rack with Shelves extends from the floor to the ceiling Combo Expansion “B” Rack “J” Casket Floral Rack Sets down on top of casket Platform Shelf O-1 additional display surface for many XL large stands 2023 NFDA General Price List Study Shows Inflation Increasing Faster than the Cost of a Funeral BROOKFIELD,WI— In spite of concerns about inflation in the United States – and skyrocketing costs for goods and services – according to the National Funeral Directors Association’s (NFDA) 2023 Member General Price List Study, funeral costs have not risen as fast as the rate of inflation. The overall rate of inflation over the past two years was 13.6%. According to NFDA’s study, the median cost of a funeral with casket and burial has increased only 5.8% over the past two years (from $7,848 to $8,300) and the median cost of a funeral with cremation, including alternative cremation casket and urn, has increased 8.1% over the past two years (from $5,810 to $6,280). “Funeral homes offer a wide variety of options to meet the needs and wishes. The primary role of funeral directors remains helping families understand the many options available to help them honor the life of a loved one in meaningful way,” said NFDA research manager Deana Gillespie. “Every funeral home offers unique services and pricing. Families should look for a funeral home that has a strong reputation with licensed funeral directors who understand their emotional needs and will be sensitive to their budget.” Since the 1960s, NFDA has calculated the national median cost of a funeral with burial by totaling the cost of the following items: basic services fee, removal/transfer of Continued on page A14 Your Real Source. Anywhere. Anytime. @Nomis.Publications Like News FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY online