Nurse Honor Guard offers tributes for those who answered a calling
Honor Guards may be familiar to folks with military or law enforcement connections. But there’s also one for nurses.
The Nurse Honor Guard will show up to any funeral or celebration of life where they’re invited to offer the Nightingale Tribute, named after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
Pam Franklin helped start the Twin Ports chapter with Jan Stevens, who discovered it when she attended the funeral of a fellow nurse in the Twin Cities.
The tributes are non-religious and can be done in churches, bars, ski chalets, or anywhere.
“You know, it’s kind of like nursing itself. You just meet people where they’re at,” Franklin said.
Volunteers are generally nurses or former nurses themselves. And they’ll do the tribute for anyone has worked as an LPN, RN, or nurse.
“It’s a profession that’s a calling and way of like ministering to people. And you walk with them,” Franklin said. “And so for something like this, it does kind of release them from that calling.”
The tribute is simple, running about 5-10 minutes and involving a white rose, a candle in a lantern, and a triangle.
“We present this day a white rose as a sign of our honor, respect, and appreciation as colleagues in this sacred duty,” Franklin said while leading a mock tribute.
It ends with the nurse’s name being called for duty three times, to which there is no answer.
“Then the candle is blown out, and that nurse is released of her duties,” Franklin said with tears in her eyes.
It’s a deeply meaningful tribute to not only the families who understand the sacrifices nurses make but also to the nurses who carry on the calling.
People interested in having the ceremony can call the Arrowhead Parish Nurse Association at (218) 722-5451 or Northern Waters Parish Nurse Ministry at (715) 817-7635.
The Nurse Honor Guard does the Nightingale Tribute for free but accepts donations to cover some costs.
Donations can be sent to the Arrowhead Parish Nurse Association at:
PO Box 16328
Duluth, MN 55816
Donations are also accepted through Northern Waters Parish Nurse Ministry at:
3500 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880