The Caisson Horses of The Old Guard

Today in the USA we mark Memorial Day, an annual day of remembrance for all who died while serving in the U.S. military.

The day reminds me of my Grandfather’s funeral and the military horses who played a part in it. A Colonel in the US Army and veteran of two wars, my Grandfather is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

During my Grandfather’s funeral, his casket was drawn to his grave site by a team of horses, The Caisson Horses of The Old Guard. The photograph above is of the flag that drapped his casket. The flag was folded and officially presented to us, his family, at the graveside before burial. The flag is now displayed prominently in my home. I remember watching the riderless horse being led as part of his funeral procession. Beautiful tall boots placed backwards in the stirrups, symbolizing a fallen warrior who will fight no more.

Horses still are an integral part of the Military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. If you ever have the opportunity to visit The Washington DC area, you might find it interesting and meaningful to visit Fort Myers in Arlington where the Caisson horses live.

The Caisson Platoon is steeped in a rich history and tradition. I’ve included a few links to information about the platoon and their horses. Makes for relevant and informative horse-related reading on this Memorial Day 2021. On the Oldguard website, you can even read about the possibility of adopting a Caisson horse upon the horse’s retirement. What an honor that would be.

2 thoughts on “The Caisson Horses of The Old Guard

  1. I had no idea retired Caisson horses were available for adoption! Thanks for that information. None are available at the moment (Memorial Day 2021) but I’ll be watching that page. FYI, I was able to meet and stroke the nose of Black Jack, who was the Riderless Horse at President John F. kennedy’s funeral. Years later the officers’ wives from Ft. Myer raised the funds to have a memorial statue of Black Jack cast and erected there. The horse was named in honor of General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Force on the Western Front in WWI, 1917-1918.

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    1. Wouldn’t that be neat to adopt a horse who served in that manner? Something special for sure. I didn’t realize you got to meet Black Jack in person. I know I have read about him. Seems like he may be the most famous of the Caisson horses ever. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!


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