Men once doffed their hats whenever a funeral procession passed by, to honour and respect the dead. But this letter published in the London, Ontario Advertiser July 22, 1905, lamented that the fading of the custom.
The other day as a funeral was passing down the streets of our city a man who was driving a cart stopped till the funeral had passed, and as the hearse went by reverently lifted his hat. One felt a feeling of respect for that man, and wished it was a common custom in London. But it is not… Apparently the boys are not taught to do so, and the men do not take the trouble. In some towns in Canada you will see every man lift his hat as a funeral passes. It doesn’t matter who it is; he doesn’t know. He only knows it is some brother mortal who has gone to his long home, and out of an instinctive pity and respect for the departed, he honors himself by honoring the dead. Would not a word from our ministers and Sunday school superintendents and parents help our boys and young men to begin a custom, which at the very lowest estimate is a beautiful tribute to our common humanity?