Funeral Industry News

Should Patriotism Trump Your Business Obligation?

May 5, 2013

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

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?