SILVERHILL, Ala. (WKRG) — In the middle of Silverhill Cemetery Thursday afternoon, a mock funeral with all the pomp and circumstance of the real thing.

Forty-one students, all members of the honor guard for their respective law enforcement agency or fire department, from four states, making sure they have every detail committed to memory for the next time they are called to honor the fallen.

“We bring control into chaos,” said the commander of the National Honor Guard Academy Doug Swartz. “The chaotic scene of a death, the rigidness of an honor guard, the pomp and pageantry is a little bit of a calming force.”

For 16 years Swartz and his crew have been bringing that control and calm to honor guards across the country. “We make sure we are honoring our fallen officers appropriately within the codes and the regulations plus the honors and traditions that exist in public safety.”

They have one shot to get it right. One opportunity to leave an impression on a grieving family that will last forever. “You can’t practice till you get it right you have to practice till you can’t get it wrong,” said Swartz, “because there is only one try to do it and there are lots of emotions involved.”

So they practice, learn and train for a ceremonial goodbye that is as important to them as it is to the families they honor.