Skip to main content

Presidential Memorial Certificate to Honor Deceased Veterans: Information on the Application Process

Thelma Raker Coffone is an award winning writer who enjoys writing on a variety of topics, especially those honoring Veterans.

Available for all Honorably Discharged Veterans

Presidential Memorial Certificate signed by President Donald Trump

Presidential Memorial Certificate signed by President Donald Trump

Qualifications to Receive Presidential Memorial Certificate

The family and friends of any deceased, honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces are entitled to receive a Presidential Memorial Certificate presented by the United States government. The engraved paper certificate is signed by the president in office at the time of the request and is intended to honor the military service of the Veteran at no charge to the family.

It makes no difference if the deceased served during war or peacetime, and it is not a requirement that the serviceperson died during active duty. The only stipulation is that they received an honorable discharge.

President John F. Kennedy initiated the Presidential Memorial Certificate program in 1962 and all presidents since that time have followed suit.

How to Apply for the Certificate

Considering you are dealing with the government, applying for the certificate is an amazingly simple process. According to a representative at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which administers the program, the friend or family member should either visit their local VA office or download the application from the VA website. It merely asks for the name of the veteran and the requesting party's mailing address and phone number. You then submit the application with the veteran's discharge form DD214 and a copy of the death certificate. You do not have to be related to the veteran to obtain the Presidential Memorial Certificate and the application does not inquire about your relationship to the deceased.

While you may order more than one copy, the VA does ask that you use good judgment when you request multiples. The VA advises the time frame for receiving certificates is between two to four months, and they normally have a large backlog. They will definitely honor your request, but you should be patient; as the public has become aware of this program, the number of applications has increased dramatically.

No Time Limit for Request

Requests may be submitted anytime after the veteran passes away, and there is no time limit. For example, the family of someone that died during the Vietnam War era could still receive the honor.

Note that all Presidential Memorial Certificates are signed by the current president and not the president that was in office during the time frame served by the veteran.

A Beautiful Keepsake to Remember Your Veteran

The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a gold embossed, engraved certificate which expresses the country's grateful appreciation of the veteran's service in the United States Armed Forces.

It would make an appropriate gift for someone who has lost a loved one that was a veteran, whether the loss was recent or years ago. For genealogists, it would be a perfect addition to their genealogy research and make an excellent remembrance keepsake in a family history book.

It is such a simple procedure and there is no charge to receive this meaningful document. It is a wonderful service offered by the United States government.

Military Funeral in Arlington National Cemetery

Military Funeral in Arlington National Cemetery

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Thelma Raker Coffone


Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on June 28, 2015:

Virginia thank you so much for telling your fellow Civil War researchers about my article. I look forward to following you here on HubPages!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on June 28, 2015:

I have a blog about finding your Civil War ancestor. I think this certificate might interest some of my readers. I'll send them over to see your page.

Also I'm an admin for a Civil War group on Facebook. I bet they will be interested too.

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on June 13, 2014:

Jim what a great keepsake you have that is signed from JFK in his last days. Thank you very much for reading my article and sharing your comment with us!

Jim Maher on June 13, 2014:

I have one from JFK , my Father passed August 18, 1962. There was a very tight window from when it started to losing JFK.

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on August 22, 2012:

Please come back to this hub and let us know how the process goes. I'm afraid there are many people like you that don't know about these certificates and it would mean a lot to them to have one.

I enjoy your hubs and look forward to following you. I'm glad we found each other!

DIYweddingplanner from South Carolina, USA on August 21, 2012:

Thelma, I'm so glad you started following me or I would never have known this. My father passed away from Alzheimer's three years ago. He was one of three brothers who proudly served in the Armed Forces, each serving in a separate branch. Two out of the three came home, although all three have passed away now. I would love to have one of these with each of the three brother's names on them. Thanks for passing on this valuable information.

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on November 18, 2011:

Jamie thanks for your great comments. As I said before, I think there are so many people that aren't aware of this and it would mean so much to them to have this remembrance. Please pass the word.



Jamie Brock from Texas on November 18, 2011:

Wow.. Thanks for this hub! This is very interesting.This could be a great gift for someone who has lost a loved one who was a veteran. I am glad this available. Those who served deserve this recognition. Thank you again for sharing!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on November 08, 2011:

family2010 I'm honored to have you follow me on hubpages. I am working on other hubs about veterans and hope you will enjoy them also. We need to get the word out about the Presidential Certificates for Deceased Veterans.

family2010 on November 07, 2011:

thanks for this unique hub, I would like to follow you as a hubber. Thanks

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on November 07, 2011:


Thanks for sharing my hub with others. It is my hope that many people will find out about this wonderful service the government offers and take advantage of it.


Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on November 06, 2011:

There is also a way of getting a flag that was flown either over the White House or the Capitol. I believe it is requested through your local Senator or House of Representatives. The flag is delivered with a signed certificate of when it was flown. It also takes several months, but some families order them in advance in preparation for future military services of loved ones. This may be an interesting hub for you to add to this series if interested. Just thought I'd share :)

Thank you for adding the enlarge feature to the certificate - looks great!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on November 06, 2011:

Glad you liked the hub! Please let us know how you make out with getting the certificates. Thanks for the advice on the picture. I didn't know about that. I look forward to reading more of your hubs also!


Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on November 06, 2011:

Thelma - this information is incredibly valuable. I am so glad I found this. We have a family of veterans. Our father just passed this year and I am going to look into ordering one for each of my brothers and myself. Thank you so very much for sharing. I would like to make a request - if you open the photo capsule and check off the "click to enlarge" icon it would make it easier for us to see. Viewers would simply click the document and it enlarges it in another window.

Voted up - and across! Sharing too!

JT Walters from Florida on September 22, 2011:

You are welcome and thanks for following me as well.


Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on September 22, 2011:

Thanks for your comment JT and thanks for following me!


JT Walters from Florida on September 22, 2011:

This is a lovely hub and very helpful