Most funeral processions at funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH proceed in the usual slow-moving, dignified last ride from the funeral home to the cemetery where the deceased will be laid to rest.
But some people have come up with creative ways to make the last trip.
In April 2019, a convoy of garbage trucks went with the coffin to the cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. The deceased was Ronnie Davis, one of the drivers for the trash collection company, Republic. His job was to empty metal waste containers for commercial customers.
When Mr. Davis died unexpectedly in late March, his coworkers decided to organize a funeral procession for him. So instead of the usual line of passenger cars behind the hearse, a dozen garbage trucks made their way to Oak Hill Cemetery. The first truck behind the hearse was the truck that Mr. Davis normally drove. A black wreath was attached to the grill of the truck. All the drivers in the funeral procession blew their horns as they drove to the cemetery, as a sign that they valued and admired Mr. Davis.
In 1994, at the San Marino Grand Prix Formula One car race, Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna da Silva, who was considered to be one of the top racecar drivers of all time, was in the lead when he missed a tight corner in the seventh lap and flew off the track hitting a concrete retaining wall. At a speed of 135 miles an hour, Senna didn’t stand a chance. He was declared dead at a nearby hospital.
The government of Brazil declared three days for the nation to mourn its native son. When Senna’s body arrived at the airport, a huge funeral procession accompanied him for the 20-mile trip to Sao Paulo. In Sao Paulo, about three million people poured into the streets to get a glimpse of Senna’s coffin going past. It was perhaps the single largest group of mourners up until that time.
However, having large groups of mourners assemble for a funeral procession is not an unusual event in history. When philosopher Voltaire died in France in 1778, approximately one million people were thought to have joined his funeral procession. Voltaire’s funeral procession included an orchestra that featured a tuba.
When the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s Supreme Leader, died in 1989, the number of people who joined his funeral procession was almost four million. They came in spite of oppressive heat and a crush of people that jostled up against each other for miles. The mourners wailed, beat themselves, and chanted as they express their grief for their fallen leader. The heat was so bad that firetrucks lined the procession route so that they could spray water on the crowd for relief. The crush of the mob of people was so great that eight people died and 400 people were injured.
With Amish people in America, funeral processions are quite simple. There are no flowers, no eulogies, and no music. Instead, a hymn is read and everyone prays at the gravesite. Graves are dug by hand and the deceased are entombed in simple wood boxes. There are no adornments on the graves, since this is seen as a symbol of status and wealth, which the Amish shun.
For more ideas about funeral processions at funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 25900 Emery Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44123, or you can call us today at (216) 831-7906.