Nurses Honor Guard pays tribute to deceased health care professionals with a final tribute

It’s kind of like a military funeral, but it’s nursing style.
Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 7:00 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2022 at 8:09 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A gun salute and a rendition of Taps are part of the final tribute at military funerals. And now, another group that serves our country, is paying homage to their colleagues in a special way.

The Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina, Lowcountry Chapter recognizes those who have dedicated their lives to caring for others.

“We go to funerals of our fellow nurses and we pay tribute to their nursing career. It’s kind of like a military funeral, but it’s nursing style,” member Lynne Malden said.

The Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina is a group of nurses, both retired and active, who volunteer their time to perform a solemn ceremony at the funerals of their colleagues.

Members include Ethel Wander, retired after 50 years, and Lynne Malden, who worked 33 years, both registered nurses.

The ceremony is brief, just three minutes long.

It includes a candle lighting, the presentation of a white rose to the deceased nurse, and the ringing of a bell to relieve the health care professional of his or her earthly duties.

“And then the candle is blown out and we put it into box, which is the nurses honor guard box. And in that we have a bible that all the girls that are signed up doing the ceremony will sign before we present the box. And then we put the lamp into the box, and we present this to the family. It’s a keepsake for them,” Wander said.

“We’ve seen a lot of deaths in our time, and for us to contribute to somebody that has worked in the nursing career for so long, it it so rewarding to give them and the family a sense of peace,” Malden said.

The service provided by the South Carolina Nurses Honor Guard of the Lowcountry is free. It is available to families of any nurse who has passed away. If you would like the honor guard to perform the final tribute ceremony at your loved ones service, call 843-300-9218 to talk with Lynne Malden.

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