As part of a memorial service for a World War II veteran taking place on Sunday, July 24th at Yakima’s Harman Senior Center (101 N. 65th Avenue), members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 379 will perform a 21-gun salute using blanks.
Residents living in the area near the Harman Senior Center are likely to hear the 21-gun salute, which is scheduled to take place sometime between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.
The City of Yakima has issued a noise permit allowing the 21-gun salute to be performed. The Yakima Municipal Code (Section 6.04.180.4) requires anyone intending to create unusually loud noise to apply for and be issued a permit before doing so.
Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 379 regularly perform 21-gun salutes at local cemeteries during military funerals, memorial services, etc.
Anyone who is entitled to a military funeral is also entitled to have a 21-gun salute, also known as a “three rifle volley,” performed during their funeral. Typically, a military funeral firing detail consists of eight members, seven who each fire their rifle three times and one non-commissioned officer who is in charge of the detail. The flag detail often slips three shell-casings (each casing representing one rifle volley) into a folded American flag before presenting the flag to the family of the deceased.
The “three rifle volley” custom is purportedly derived from an old battlefield custom. The two warring sides would cease hostilities to clear their dead from the battlefield, and the firing of three volleys meant that the dead had been properly cared for and the side was ready to resume the battle.