Weeks of planning and practice have been invested in the State Funeral for the former Governor General. With Belize only having two State Funerals prior, the military protocols required have had to been reviewed by the current Force Sergeant Major Wilfred Majano and the Force Adjutant Rogelio Ramirez. Love News spoke with BDF’s Brigadier General Steven Ortega who explained the drills and symbolism of the military parties.
Brigadier General Steven Ortega, BDF Commander: “What you’re seeing out there is years of hard work for them and continuous rehearsals. We don’t rehearse necessary for a funeral or a state funeral or stuff like that but it’s drill and what happens with that is that we adjust these drills to suit different ceremonial occasions and so these drills have been adjusted to suit this state funeral. That’s why we had to conduct a two weeks, three weeks rehearsals around just to ensure that these drills have been adjusted to the right standard. This funeral is composed basically three parties: the bearer party which are the ones carrying the casket, the sword party which are officers who line the street with the swords, the firing party those are the three elements that compose of this for the state funeral and they’re the ones who actually will carry it through to the end. If you notice yesterday when the casket came out draped they played the national anthem because that is the honor that is placed on the Governor General and so they have to play the national anthem and then it passes in between the guys doing the salute, the firing party and the sword party and that is the highest honor your can actually pay to anyone going in between the salute. Normally we don’t have a sword party it’s just the firing party so we don’t normally have a sword party so that makes it the highest honor for a deceased.”