Md. National Guard Prepares For William Donald Schaefer Funeral

TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ)—It will be like nothing Maryland has ever seen. We have new details on the funeral services for William Donald Schaefer.

Jessica Kartalija has the specifics.

The entire ceremony at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens will be open to the public. Before his death William Donald Schaefer was very present in the planning down to the final details of his own funeral.

A funeral for Maryland’s top brass means incredible attention is paid to detail.

“Anytime there is a passing of a public figure who is of a high stature, and in this case, one who is much beloved, there is going to be a certain amount of preparation that happens,” said Jari Villaneuva, Maryland National Guard.

Villaneuva is directing the entire event.

“What we are doing in the honor guard is making sure that everybody’s uniform looks good, that all of the movements, holding the casket, all the movements with the flags, all the movements with the firing party, the rifles and also down with the buglers to make sure they are in position ready to go when the event happens,” he said.

Villaneuva says the funeral will be a combination of sadness in the death of a great man and celebration of the life that he lived.

Military honors include a 19-gun salute, flag presentation and taps will be followed by a helicopter flyover.

“Everybody is inspired to put their best foot forward because of the type of event that it is, and obviously what type of statesman that Governor William Donald Schaefer was,” said Major Amy Bennett, operations officer.

Thousands are expected to attend the emotional ceremony.

“I’ll be focused on the task at hand. Of course, in the back of my head, I’ll be thinking that we’re saying good-bye to a great leader, a great statesman, a great person,” Villaneuva said.

And again, the entire ceremony will be outside. Then he will be moved into the mausoleum privately where he will lay in rest.

Click here for more details on Schaefer’s funeral plans.

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