Walking along the Caissons at Arlington Cemetery

in #wednesdaywalklast year

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On December 14th, hundreds of people will give up their day to lay wreaths on the graves of our soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Anyone can help by sponsoring a wreath, volunteering, or inviting friends to help. On January 11th, just as many will gather to take them off. Volunteers will lay a wreath on each veteran’s grave — more than a quarter-million wreaths altogether — and each veteran’s name will be spoken aloud to honor them. An absolute honor. You can read about it here.

For many cultures, wreaths represent notions of eternity, continuity, and memory. ... In the military tradition of wreath-laying ceremonies, this reverent gesture marks sacred ground. A suspended wreath eternally embodies this ritual of remembrance.

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I have incorporated a #WednesdayWalk By @Tattoodjay with a visit to the Caisson, a horse-drawn carriage of sorts used to transport during funerals at Arlington Cemetery in Washinton, DC. Join me as we peek in on them as they are done for the day.

There are six horses, and they will pull the flag-draped casket that is laid on a black artillery caisson. Incidentally, there is a black team and a white team of horses.

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The caissons were built in 1918, and used for 75mm cannons. They were originally equipped with ammunition chests, spare wheels, and tools used for the cannons. Today these have been removed and replaced with the flat deck on which the casket rests - taken from The Old Guard Caisson Platoon.

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Every day is a training day for them. I have never seen one falter, ever. Standing patiently and waiting to begin their journey down the path.

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This is the black team. I got to go back to the barn and watch them as they ended their long day, one that had started at 4 am and it was already 4 pm and they still had to groom and feed them. It is a long day, but, they are dedicated and it is a coveted assignment. It is an honor to be the one to honor thy brother and lay him to rest. A brother in arms.

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Day is done. It is a long day, as today was their funeral day. One day on,one day off. The off day is a training day. These men work together like a finely tuned machine. Watching their synchronize movements, their stance. It is absolutely mesmerizing. The cadence, the movement. All part of their training.

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Hanging the gear in the next barn. Each piece of equipment is cleaned, each brass buckle is cleaned and buffed before they go home. You will never hear a complaint.

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Horse kisses.The riders and their horses are close and it shows. Their is great respect between the two. What an honor to be part of this regiment. For him. For the horse.

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They all know their job and they do it well, training every day, every day. I have been told that the dignity and grace to which they do their jobs is not accidental nor is it instinctive. It is a leaned duty, and they all consider it an honor to serve.

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Came upon the Caisson Platoon this summer at Ft. Meyer. The six horses which pull the caisson through the quiet lanes of Arlington National Cemetery are matched. They are paired into three teams – the lead team is in front, the swing team follows, and nearest the caisson is the wheel team. Although all six animals are saddled, only those on the left have mounted riders. This is a tradition which began in the early horse-drawn artillery days when one horse of each team was mounted while the other carried provisions and feed - taken from The Old Guard Caisson Platoon.

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And just like that, this post is done! I want to thank @tattoodjay for hosting the WednesdayWalk challenge! I would like to see where you walked today and see what you got to see. I hope you had a fabulous time and I think we should meet up here again next week! Until then, keep on smiling~!!

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A flower. Always. This flower is dedicated to #Wednesday Yellow #ColorChallenge by @Kalemandra, who colors my world, every single day.

Let the sun shine in on your life
So the joy may touch your soul




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Thank you for visiting my post 💖 Because of you, I come back to post, again and again, I am encouraged by you, for the time you take to visit, comment or even upvote. For all of these reasons, I am eternally grateful. Don't ever forget what a wonderful world we live in, people. Let's hold hands around the globe and make this earth really spin. Some days, it is not as easy to see, how wonderful it really is. Kindness counts. Wherever you go, whatever you do.

they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered,
"where does it hurt?"
it answered,

"everywhere"
"everywhere"
"everywhere"

warsan shire



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Honor guard is such a high calling and an awesome show of respect. The whole of Arlington is from what I recall. I think you did it proud with your candid photos. A super share!

Well, thank you, that is so kind of you for the share.

I cannot say enough about the Honor Guard. They own a special place in my heart. Always and Forever. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind words. I wish you a most wonderful night.

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Some lovely black and whites...

Thank you so much. The horses are beautiful and when pulling the caisson, simply majestic looking. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your words!

Have an amazing day!

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I remember you mentioned the wreath-laying in previous years and think it is such a wonderful tradition, and quite heart warming

So beautiful to see all these shots of the horses, and a bit of info about them thanks so much for sharing

Thanks for joining Wednesday Walk :)
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It is something that we like doing as a family and it really means a lot to me as my father is buried there also.

The horses and the Caisson are a tradition that touches me, right to bottom of my soul. Love the #WedensdayWalk!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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I didnt know your father was buried there but it makes sense why it is so special to you and your family

I can also relate how the horses are so touching to see
Always a pleasure to visit your posts :)

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Thanks for the beer @tattoodjay!

I've never been to Arlington Cemetery. I really should get back to DC. 2 Days wasn't' enough.

It is one of those places that if you are here, you shouldn't miss it. Two days isn't nearly enough, but, it is better than not having ever been there! There is so much to do that it is hard to choose.

Most people never go to the Library of Congress, which is across from the Capitol, yet, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in DC... of course that is my opinion.:)

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! Have a great day!

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I need to go to the library and the museum. I'll make it an indoor trip. Last time I explored outdoors which is why missing the cemetery stood out to me.

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Rest in peace.. thanks for share your story .anyway coming 14 th December is my birthday 😊

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How awesome! Happy birthday (almost!) I hope you do something special with it!

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If a cemetery can be beautiful, then the Arlington Cemetery surely is such. Thank you for taking us on this interesting walk Denise. Stunning photos as always.

I have no idea what the attraction is for me, other than it being so overwhelming and. I am struck by its peacefulness despite it being a cemetery.

Thank you. The photos really don't do it justice. Although, you know what I mean as the Czech Republic has some amazing cemeteries. I hope all is going well for you. You aren't rock happy yet?:)

You pick some beautiful places to hang your hat. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! Have a wonderful day!

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That´s right, we have some impressive (I don´t really feel comfortable using the word beautiful when talking about cemeteries) cemeteries in the Czech Republic but I remember the one in Arlington made a really huge impression on me, even though it´s been some 10 years...

Rocky happy, wow, I had to google that phrase out :D Not yet. Still loving it here. Actually, I used to live on a much smaller island that this one :) I definitely prefer places with little or no people to crowded sites so it´s fine with me here.

Thanks for your reply and the tip, have a great day too!

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Great essay and tribute to those honoring our fallen.

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It is an honor to be able to lay the wreaths, honestly. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind comments behind.

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Thank you for the trendtoken @busbbecq~

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Thank you for the resteem @pixresteemer! Much appreciated!

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When I travel I always make time to visit the War Memorials nearby, not all, but some. I mean the Aussie ones. I pay my respects, as should we all. I have visited them all over the world including Isurava in Papua New Guinea and Villers-Bretonneux in France, Vietnam and many others also. They never fail to move me.

I'll do so in the States too, despite them not being Australian with Arlington, Pearl Harbour and Gettysburg on the list. I respect those who serve, those who gave their lives and veterans too.

Anyway, that's about all. Have a great day.

Actually, Francis Milne of the Royal Australian Air Force who died aged 25 on Thursday, 26th November 1942 is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was from Southport Queensland.

If you ever go to Gettysburg, try to line it up when they are having a reenactment! They are incredibly good! I did a post a few months back about it. Thanks for stopping by!

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I'd love to see a reenactment although would want to get involved! Aussies fought all over the place but I wouldn't think many are buried in the States...Good reason to go there though.

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I have been to Arlington gosh... I don’t know how many times. But every visit was in the summer and none were long enough to soak up a peaceful corner or to see the days and seasons as progress through. This is a lovely telling of two Arlington traditions I have never seen. Both totally beautiful.

Oh, I do not like the summer month because it is so crowded but yes! Anytime is amazing! Next time you go, try to get down to where the horses are and see if they will let you in! It is an amazing experience!

Thanks for stopping by~

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I'll bet you've spent part of your some of your December 14ths helping to lay the wreaths to honor our veterans, and whether you have or not, I thank you for the way you always honor our veterans - of which I have taken notice.

When you write about the honor guard and those who train with and care for those beautiful horses and their dedication to this, their solemn duty, that's what it's all about.

They surely must come away from serving with that MOS, with loads of thanks, honor and respect for their buried brothers mixed in with their own military blood flowing through their veins. Honor and Duty.

You wrote this post very well Denise. It's solemn and most respectful to all of our men and women in the military and our veterans, and you show how some things are still done with pride and sense of purpose, even if it's just making sure that last buckle shines.

How fascinating! Those horses are beautiful. I remember visiting Arlington cemetery way back when...... but this is an interesting new piece of history. Thanks for sharing Denise! And so nice to see you posting. I checked in a couple weeks ago and was sad to have missed you. A lovely week for you in your unique part of the world @dswigle