How History Shaped the Rituals of State Funerals
Bob Kemper, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (June 8, 2004):
Those who planned Lincoln's funeral in 1865 had to look to European and Masonic rituals in creating the American state funeral, according to historians. Many of the rituals of Reagan's funeral, such as the inclusion of a riderless horse in the funeral procession, are rooted in rituals that date back to the days of Genghis Kahn and the Roman Empire.
A warrior's horse was once sacrificed at the time of his burial so that it could meet him in the afterlife and allow him to ride into heaven.
In the same vein, a caisson designed for a 75 mm cannon will carry Reagan's casket much as they once were used to evacuate the dead from battlefields.
Three volleys will be fired over Reagan's grave to mark the end of the service,
just as three volleys indicated Civil War soldiers had completed services for
their fallen brethren and were ready again to engage the enemy.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- McKinley's lost his mountain. Should we still remember his presidency?
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'
- 72 history professors sign letter urging removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Kentucky Capitol
- 10 Years After Katrina, the Enduring Value of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank
- Historian author Antony Beevor says his new World War 2 book may anger Americans