“This may not be a bad idea,” he thought. By Kevin … The two caissons used at the Cemetery are from the WWI time period circa 1918-1919. Today, Fort Sam is one of only two places in the country—Arlington National Cemetery is the other—to have a full-time caisson unit. A caisson was first used as part of a ceremonial burial during the 1847 Mexican-American War. This custom evolved from the days when horse-drawn caissons were the primary means of moving artillery ammunition and cannon, and the Eleanor Roosevelt stands to left with Anna and Elliott on April 15, 1945 in Hyde Park, NY. Caisson is a horse drawn wagon or cart. The single riderless horse that follows the caisson with boots reversed in the stirrups is called the "caparisoned horse" in reference to its ornamental coverings, which have a detailed protocol all to themselves. Once the artillery was off-loaded, the caisson was loaded with bodies of fallen service members. When a caisson was unloaded on the battlefield, presumably it would reload with wounded, dead, or dying soldiers of the battery it had just resupplied. The flag-draped casket arrives at the cemetery by hearse or horse-drawn caisson. After unloading, the wagons returned with wounded, dead or dying soldiers. It is from this tradition that the caisson came into use for the burial of a single fallen solider to his or her final resting place. Caisson – As previously mentioned, in a state funeral procession of a president sometimes the casket is placed on a caisson. Casket team sets down the casket and secures the flag. This matter of conveyance was later carried over and formalized into the use of a caisson for the burial of a singular fallen soldier in his coffin. Originally the caisson was used to bring artillery onto the battlefield. One will notice, during a military funeral that the horses that pull the caisson which bears the body of the veteran are all saddled, but the horses on the left have riders, while the horses on the right do not. The caissons used today date from 1918 and have been re-fitted to carry flag-draped caskets. The NCOIC ensures the flag is stretched out and level, and centered over the casket. The chaplain or pastor (if applicable) reads a committal service. The dead carried from the field of battle on a caisson were covered with a flag, so that each side could identify their own dead. A caisson is a two wheel horse drawn wagon which was originally used to transport ammunition during military battles, the caisson used in presidential funeral procession was built in 1918 to carry a 75mm cannon. They gleam like they are brand new. Draping the flag of a nation over a military serviceperson’s or veteran’s casket serves to remind the living of that person’s service and sacrifice for that country. 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