Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why boots are in reverse at military funeral

What was the history of placing boots in reverse on a horse during a funeral procession?

This was a question that was ask of me by a Legion member that attended the Cpl. John C.Bishop funeral. I had to confess to him, I did not know. I told him I would try to find out. I started looking with the Google search engine. There I found many answers, Some thoughts dating back as far as 1622, but the one I think makes the most sense is listed below. Within my search I learned a new word, "Caparisoned Horse".

The boots facing backwards in the stirrups was first used in Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. It is said that the backward boots symbolize the fallen soldier looking back over his troops, and that he will never ride again. The tradition of reverse order of the boots and saber originated with the Greeks. Everything in the process of the Greek/ Roman burial ceremony was reversed. The order of those following the coffin was reversed, firearms were reversed, boots in the stirrups were reversed.