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
- New museum in Poland -- the grandest space created since 1989 -- tells the story of the Jews
- Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says
- Scientists Say Proof Of Jack The Ripper's Identity Is Fatally Flawed
- Memorial for black Revolutionary War soldiers finds spot on Mall after 30 years
- Sherlock Holmes star to feature in a new movie about Alan Turning
- How Laurel Thatcher Ulrich caught up with the past
- Postal Workers Take on Harvard President, historian Drew Faust
- Symposium held in honor of John D’Emilio
- Thousands of Historic Archives from British Asylums to Go Online
- American Studies Association boycott of Israel: Conservatives say it’s weakening