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Should Patriotism Trump Your Business Obligation?

Last Thursday Dyer Lake Funeral Home in Attleboro Falls, MA. was tasked by legal representatives and authorities to transfer the body of  Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dead Boston bombing suspect, from the Medical Examiner to their funeral home, and then instructed by authorities to transfer the body elsewhere.

What happened next isn’t entirely shocking but it went way beyond what was understandable.

It’s no surprise that local residents protested the funeral home, but some of the comments made went way beyond ignorant.

Warning: Explicit content below.

Some comments demanded that the funeral take down the American flag that waves proudly in the funeral home’s front lawn.

The Dyer Lake Funeral Home issued the following statement:

We are Dyer-Lake. 

We are honored to serve our community: our neighbors, our families. We proudly fly the American flag. We stand at one with Boston.

Much has been said and written recently about Dyer-Lake. 

Some have said it was disgraceful or shameful that we transferred the body of a high-profile suspect from the Medical Examiner's office in Boston to our facility and held the body briefly. 

We, too, are horrified and outraged by the actions that killed, maimed and injured so many innocent people. It was inexcusable. 

We understand and share in the anger and disgust that surrounds such cowardly acts of terrorism. 

The fact of the matter is this: We were directed by legal representatives and authorities to simply transfer the body of this individual from the Medical Examiner to our facility, and then instructed by authorities to transfer the body elsewhere. 

We carried out the job we were asked to. This is what we do as a funeral home. We did not profit from our work. This was not about money. 

For those who demanded that we lower the American flag that flies so proudly at Dyer-Lake, please know this: Had we lowered the flag, then terrorism succeeds. 

We are one with Boston, one with our community, and we are Dyer-Lake.


No funeral home wants to be faced with a decision like this and I am sure it will cost them business down the road. But what the people of Attleboro Falls, MA should realize about Dyer Lake Funeral Home is that they are fair, not judgmental, honest, caring and above all else they are true americans that love and support the United States of America. They simply did their job.

A job that in no way brought any joy upon them.

We still pray for Boston and we as a profession should still support Dyer-Lake Funeral Home.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

What do you think: if it was your funeral home would patriotism trump your business obligation?

Ryan Thogmartin

CEO at DISRUPT Media and ConnectingDirector.com
Ryan Thogmartin is the Owner and CEO of DISRUPT Media. DISRUPT Media is a full service social media agency specializing in social media strategy, management and reporting for funeral companies. DISRUPT Media is the creator of the FUNERAL Social Design Process which is the only full service social media strategy program crafted specifically for the funeral profession.

Go to http://funeralsocial.com to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are apart of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.

Ryan is also the founder of ConnectingDirectors.com. ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.

  • alan

    Personally, I wondered what would happen when the body was released. Dyer Lake did the right thing. Now let’s see if NFDA and The Massachussetts FDA stand by them. A public statement of support for them is needed.

    I remember in the ’80’s when a lot of funeral homes were refusing AIDS bodies. We were the only one for at least 100 miles that would take them. Our reasoning: This is what we do. If we don’t who will?

    Kudo’s to Dyer Lake. Now what about the rest of us? We have a brother in trouble for doing what all of us should have done. It’s not just their test…it’s ours.

  • jaydee414

    If by “patriotism” you mean refusing to serve this family, you have totally missed the definition of “patriotism”. The choice to serve or not serve this family is not about “patriotism”. It is about doing what we are called to do. Risky move from a PR standpoint?…absolutely. Unpatriotic?….not even close.

  • Michele

    Apparently the folks in Attleboro didn’t see this… People were hailing it back in 2001.

    This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in Philadelphia. You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement. One would think that anti-hate groups from all across the country would be marching on this business… And that the National Guard might have to be called to keep the angry crowds back. But, perhaps in these stressful times one might be tempted to let the proprietors simply make their statement . . . We are a society who holds Freedom of Speech as perhaps our greatest liberty . . . And after all, it is just a sign. You may ask what kind of business would dare post such a sign?

    A Funeral Home (Who said morticians had no sense of humor?)

  • Ann-Marie

    This poor funeral home! I applaud their response.
    What the people of Attleboro Falls, MA needs to ask themselves; Did they write the same mean comments to the hospital that cared for the “other bomber”?
    Did they share the same mean comments with the police that spared the life of the “other bomber”?
    I understand that when you are hurting, you can say things that you do not mean. Everyone supports Boston, the runners, family and friends of anyone that was touched by this tragedy. I only hope that those who felt the need to put their anger in writing will someday get over their hurt.