Hélène Boucher, aviator and world speed record holder
Died: 11/30/34, age 26, airplane crash near Versailles
Buried: Yermenonville cemetery in Northern France
The first woman to lie in state at Les Invalides (see video below), posthumously awarded knight of the Légion d'honneur and namesake of a girls school in Paris, Boucher’s legacy is not forgotten 85 years after her death.
Despite her significant achievements in aviation, Boucher was just 26 years old and in a time after the Great War, as Europe approached an even darker period, she represented hope for the future. A ceremony this elaborate for a private citizen, a woman nonetheless, was certainly remarkable.
It’s no secret that I lean toward the creative, nontraditional celebrations - I mean, I trademarked the term “newfashioned funeral” for goodness sake. That said, I have spent hours and hours reading, researching and pouring over footage of traditional services, soaking up all the details and developing a deep appreciation for all kinds of things I once swore I’d never include in any service of my own.
I have a great deal of respect for the traditions that have been carried on from generation to generation, and there is absolutely no reason why you can’t include some or all of them in your personal advanced plan.