We are all raised with different cultures, traditions and religious views and because of that, we do not all practice the same rituals when it comes to funerals and honoring the dead.

When I wrote the letter to the editor titled “Funeral Etiquette: what’s legal, what’s disrespectful” (Dec. 11, 2018), I wrote it mostly out of anger and allowed my personal opinion to infiltrate what was intended to be a thoroughly researched teaching moment.

I was disgusted at seeing cars not pulling over for a funeral procession I was part of. I attended a funeral to honor a veteran who was a complete stranger to me and I was shocked to see so many people display an act I perceived to be disrespectful.

So my article ended up as an editorial.

We are all raised with different cultures, traditions and religious views and because of that, we do not all practice the same rituals when it comes to funerals and honoring the dead.

For thousands of years, we have had some kind of funeral procession that is our last chance to honor the deceased as they are escorted to their final resting place.

This is our final chance to show our respect for the deceased and sympathy for their loved ones.

Many states have enacted laws regarding the procedures that affect those who participate in a funeral procession, and those who do not.

However, there are just as many states that do not have any laws pertaining to funeral processions whatsoever.

All of the states that do have some kind of law regarding a funeral procession require everyone traveling in the procession to be clearly marked, usually by flashing blinkers and headlights illuminated.

They are not allowed to leave the procession unless directed to do so by a law enforcement official. If they do leave the procession they are prohibited from rejoining it.

There are just a few states require some sort of official escort vehicle that is clearly marked with escort flags or lights. This is often provided by a police department if funding allows it, but can also be provided by the funeral home or a commercial escort service.

The majority of the states that have funeral procession laws require all cars not participating in the procession to yield the right-of-way to the procession, even when traveling through all traffic signals and signs.

Furthermore, no one is allowed to travel through a procession for any reason, excluding emergency vehicles on the way to an official emergency.

Contrary to popular belief, absolutely no state requires anyone to pull over and wait for the procession to completely pass.

This has been a tradition that has been passed through generations, mostly throughout the south.

When the previous letter was published to Facebook we asked for readers to comment with their opinion.

The majority of the comments state that they “pull over and wait.” Some even turn off the radio and remove their hat if wearing one.

“A move is not made until procession is complete. I worked in the funeral industry for 20 years. It's called respect.” said Sue Williams on Facebook.

She was raised in the south and stated: “In the south, I notice most people are respectful and pull over for processions.”

Another Facebook comment came from Jessica Chaney Ramirez who said “when my first husband passed, some linemen stopped their work and held their hands on their heart as we went by. Mourners remember these things. It’s best to pull over and think of others.”

Among the staff at the Leesville Daily Leader and the Beauregard Daily News the consensus was that those who encountered a funeral procession pulled off the road and wait for the entire procession to pass before continuing on their way.

When asked why this was done, everyone agreed that it was done out of respect, whether they knew the deceased or not.

I cannot say definitively if stopping to show the deceased respect is a southern or northern tradition but most research shows it to be a southern one.

The only thing I can say with absolute certainty is that I myself, a northerner who was taught to stop and wait for the entire procession to pass, will continue to stop and wait.

States that have no laws regarding funeral processions include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.