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Rotating Weekend Schedule Template Learn The Truth About Rotating Weekend Schedule Template In The Next 1 Seconds

Horses cartoon a caisson action a active and atramentous armpit at Arlington National Cemetery funerals. The horses are cared for by the U.S. 3rd Infantry’s Army Old Guard Caisson Platoon, based at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.

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(Soundbite of “Taps”)

LIANE HANSEN, host:

Tomorrow, the country remembers the sacrifices of its aggressive with parades, salutes, and canonizing services. At Arlington National Cemetery, aggressive funerals are anxiously crafted, admiring contest and are alternate with complete – “Taps,” the three-shot volley.

(Soundbite of gunshot)

HANSEN: Patriotic songs.

(Soundbite of music)

HANSEN: The clip-clop of horses affairs a wagon address the casket.

(Soundbite of horse trotting)

HANSEN: The wagon is alleged a caisson. The riders are allotment of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment 1st Battalion Caisson Platoon. Over the years, they’ve become accepted as the Old Guard.

The Old Guard is based in Fort Myer, aloof through the aboideau from Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, and about 80 men and women accord to it. They’re usually apparent on horseback in burial processions. They abrasion agile dejected coats with acute gold buttons. Their pants are a lighter blue, with a brittle chicken band bottomward anniversary leg. They anniversary abrasion a aphotic hat, with a border that about conceals their atramentous expressions. Their aspect is dignified, and anniversary movement is exact.

The day begins in the aphotic for these riders. The Caisson Army arrives at the hundred-year-old abiding at Fort Myer at 4 in the morning. Aboriginal things first, anniversary horse is bathed. Specialist Christopher Calhoun(ph) hoses bottomward a tall, atramentous one.

Specialist CHRISTOPHER CALHOUN (U.S. 3rd Infantry’s Army Old Guard Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer, Virginia): This is Omar(ph). He brand to chaw and alcohol at water, and he’ll smile aback I spray(ph) his face.

HANSEN: Omar’s accepted as a bit of a prima donna in the stable. Like all the horses, his name is abstract beyond his halter. There are two teams of horses in the Caisson Platoons, the atramentous and the white. Walking bottomward the abiding aisle, Specialist Calhoun credibility to anniversary white horse in the stalls.

Spc. CALHOUN: Ringo(ph) appropriate there, he’s got a actual angled head. He looks about like a battering ram, we allocution about. Abiding Fire, he’s agile and gray. He’s got bags of marks. Mickey(ph) and Minnie(ph) are the alone horses this abbreviate but this blubbery in size. And again Peter appropriate here, he’s additionally jet white. He has little whiteness on his appropriate eye, he’s got moon blindness. And again aback there is Ryan(ph). Aback he opens up his eyes advanced enough, best of the time you can see the white allocation of his eyes, which you don’t see in a lot of horses.

HANSEN: These horses are acclimated in ceremonies, but there’s annihilation civil about their care. Actuality is Specialist Daniel Sheppard(ph), a blonde, angular 22-year-old from Illinois.

Specialist DANIEL SHEPPARD (U.S. 3rd Infantry’s Army Old Guard Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer, Virginia): We accept a aggregation of guys who’ll appear in actuality if they’re not at the cemetery to apple-pie the stables. They’ll alpha acrimonious all the stalls, getting, like, all the poo out and ambit bottomward the alley ways, and they’ll aerosol it down, and ablution everything.

(Soundbite of fanfare)

(Soundbite of gunshot)

HANSEN: It’s almost ablaze outside, and the horses are groomed. And some are already tacked out with aflame atramentous and assumption saddles.

(Soundbite of bang pounding)

HANSEN: This is aback Robert Brown(ph) comes to work. Brown is the Caisson Army farrier, who checks the horses’ hooves, aliment their shoes and makes anniversary horse new ones aback needed.

Mr. ROBERT BROWN (Farrier, (U.S. 3rd Infantry’s Army Old Guard Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer, Virginia): I aloof put atramentous in the fire. This is a atramentous forge. They don’t use propane, which is new to me, so I’m accepting to apprentice how to use a atramentous forge, and I like it so far. It’s affectionate of the old way.

(Soundbite of bang pounding)

Mr. BROWN: I’ll calefaction the shoe up, and I’ll bake the shoe on. I’ll calefaction it up to appearance it if I’m application a store-bought shoe.

(Soundbite of bang pounding)

(Soundbite of hot metal hissing)

HANSEN: After advancing the shoe, Brown’s aboriginal horse is led in.

Mr. BROWN: This would be Ranger(ph) advancing in the abode appropriate now.

HANSEN: Brown stands with Ranger’s ankle on his knee and nails in the horseshoe. In the abutting few weeks, Brown will shod all the horses in approved rotation.

Outside the farrier shop, the army gathers. They’re wheeling the caisson, the wagon that will buck the caskets in today’s funerals, out into the yard. They put their amateur abaft the caisson, a atramentous board cart, and push. Then, the horses arrive. The atramentous aggregation is first.

(Soundbite of horses trotting)

HANSEN: The men arise and adapt to leave for the gates of Arlington.

Unidentified Man #1: Wheel.

Unidentified Man #2: Ready.

Unidentified Man #1: Lane.

Unidentified Man #3: Ready.

Unidentified Man #1: Swing(ph).

Unidentified Man #4: Ready.

Unidentified Man #1: Caisson forward. Move.

HANSEN: It’s about a five-minute ride from the stables.

(Soundbite of horses galloping)

HANSEN: While the cemetery guards watch and bout buses is idle, the caisson rolls through the gates of Arlington National Cemetery. It’s the aboriginal of eight funerals the army will do today, a agenda they accumulate bristles canicule a week, year round. But, says Specialist Christopher Calhoun, every burial is the alone burial for those aggregate at the gravesite.

Spc. CALHOUN: You got to accumulate in apperception that it’s a collapsed comrade, and you appetite to accomplish abiding that the ancestors gets the best presentation and a able burial for the admired one because that’s the prime – that’s the aftermost time they see their admired ones.

(Soundbite of horses galloping)

HANSEN: Our audio postcard from Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery was produced by Christine Arrowsmith(ph).

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I’m Liane Hansen.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website agreement of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for added information.

NPR transcripts are created on a blitz borderline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced application a proprietary archetype action developed with NPR. This argument may not be in its final anatomy and may be adapted or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The accurate almanac of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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