The Camp Nelson National Cemetery Honor Guard recently said goodbye to the horse that gave active-duty personnel and veterans a fitting send-off: In a single horse-drawn caisson.
Kosmios was a regal grey Arabian gelding who participated in 180 funerals since 2012. Saddled with empty boots placed backward in the stirrups to symbolize the fallen soldier, Kosmios was led behind the caisson, which is a horse-drawn hearse. Kosmios had a more important role than simply carrying the symbolic saddle and boots; he acted sweetly to those who were attending the funeral, including kids who may be confused and out of their element.
Kosmios, 17, was euthanized in November after sustaining a broken leg, possibly from a kick by another horse. Though the loss of this special horse is felt deeply, another grey Arabian, Elite Treasure, will fill in for him during caisson funerals. To make sure no one horse gets overworked, two Standardbreds, Lincoln and Freedom Hall, are also employed by the Honor Guard. Freedom Hall has also served as the riderless horse.
Caisson funerals may be most familiar to those who remember John F. Kennedy's funeral in 1963.
Read more at Horse Channel.
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