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SCHLUSSEL: Murderer Should be In, Iraqi (Hero) Out, at Arlington National Cemetery
DebbieSchlussel.com ^ | August 18, 2005 | Debbie Schlussel

Posted on 08/18/2005 2:06:23 PM PDT by Cool Chick

It's not every day that I side with a murderer over a man who gave his life helping our troops in Iraq.

But this is one of those rare instances.

The controversy concerns Arlington National Cemetery and who should be buried there.

Russell Wayne Wagner was buried in Arlington with standard military honors on July 27th. He served in the Army from 1969 to 1972 and was honorably discharged. He, therefore, qualified for burial in the prestigious military final resting place.

But Wagner was a convicted murderer. He murdered Daniel and Wilda Davis, both in their 80s, at their home. His death was almost as dishonorable. Wagner died in prison in February of a heroin overdose.

The Davis' son, Vernon, is mortified that Wagner is buried in Arlington. He wants Wagner's ashes removed from the time-honored military cemetery.

I have the deepest sympathy for Vernon Davis. I share his utter disgust. What Wagner did was outrageous, cold-blooded, and calculated. His burial at Arlington National Cemetery seems inappropriate. But Wagner met the standards of eligibility for burial at Arlington. He was eligible for parole at the time of his death, and only those veterans sentenced to death or life in prison without parole are barred from burial there.

Wagner's remains should stay where they are.

Then, there is Ali Abass.

A Captain in the new Iraqi Air Force, he died with members of the U.S. Air Force when their plane crashed near the Iranian border, according to USA Today. In an earlier incident, Abass convinced possible Iraqi terrorists that he worked for the Iraqi agricultural department, while American soldiers hid nearby. He saved our soldiers' lives.

Abass was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, last week. But Abass shouldn't be there.

(Excerpt) Read more at debbieschlussel.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: abass; aliabass; arlingtoncemetery; arlingtonnational; danieldavis; debbieschlussel; michaelwooley; russellwagner; schlussel; vernondavis; veterans; wagner; wildadavis; wooley

1 posted on 08/18/2005 2:06:25 PM PDT by Cool Chick
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To: Cool Chick
"And will U.S. servicemen get the 21-gun salute and fly-over by U.S. Air Force jets that Abass' burial got?"


I highly doubt that Abass got a 21 gun salute. I do know that any U.S. service men aren't going to get one. 21 gun salutes aren't standard fair.
2 posted on 08/18/2005 2:11:51 PM PDT by tfecw (It's for the children)
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To: Cool Chick

She missed the point..suprisingly for her.What is interred in Arlington are the remains of 6 Americans and the Iraqi that could NOT be identified, even by DNA analysis, because of the extreme heat of the crash. There is a reasonable supposition that some of the remains are of the Iraqi..it would therefor be cruel NOT to have his name on the headstone..IIRC each of the Americans, and the Iraqi, had individual services, and identified remains were interred at indivudal gravesites, including the Iraqi's in Iraq. Nope..Debbie is BIG TIME WRONG here..sorry..


3 posted on 08/18/2005 2:12:23 PM PDT by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: Cool Chick
He was eligible for parole at the time of his death, and only those veterans sentenced to death or life in prison without parole are barred from burial there.

Notice it didn't say that he was granted parole! He should not be buried there.

4 posted on 08/18/2005 2:18:03 PM PDT by 2nd amendment mama ( www.2asisters.org Self defense is a basic human right!)
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To: tfecw

OOps...Sorry misread it.


5 posted on 08/18/2005 2:18:43 PM PDT by 2nd amendment mama ( www.2asisters.org Self defense is a basic human right!)
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To: Cool Chick

Here is a link to the Arlington website that discusses some foreign nationals buried at Arlington: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/foreignn.htm

I was a bit surprised at first to see that EPW's were buried there. But then I recalled that there also EPWs buried in the Fort Devens, Fort Leavenworth and Schofield Barracks post cemeteries - and probably others. At least this Iraqi was fighting on our side.


6 posted on 08/18/2005 2:19:42 PM PDT by Airborne1986 (Well, you can do what you want to us. But we're not going to sit here while you badmouth the U.S.A.)
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To: ken5050; Cool Chick
Quoting from the article:

"While it is true that some of Abass' remains may have been mixed with those of the U.S. airmen with whom he died... While also true that Abass' ashes will share a single coffin with those of the four Americans..."

I agree with you.

There was no way to separate his remains from those of the others. Therefor it is necessary that he be buried with the others, therefor her complaint is misdirected. Her complaint about the other 59 would also need to be judged on a case by case basis, and probably were.

Since she got this one wrong, I'd be hesitant to take her word for the others unless she did a little legwork to find out who the others were and why they are where they are.

7 posted on 08/18/2005 2:21:16 PM PDT by marron
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To: tfecw

You are right about the 21 gun salute. That is reserved for a head of state.


8 posted on 08/18/2005 2:23:34 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: Cool Chick

Others have said it, but so will I. She's wrong.


9 posted on 08/18/2005 2:24:47 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Officially around the bend, at least for now.)
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To: Tax-chick
Others have said it, but so will I. She's wrong.

She's not wrong. She's spectacularly, unbelievably, overwhelmingly wrong.
10 posted on 08/18/2005 2:31:40 PM PDT by drjimmy
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To: Cool Chick

Goofy. This is the kind of stuff writers come up with when they are completely out of ideas.


11 posted on 08/18/2005 2:35:18 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: tfecw

21 guns and taps were standard when I lived there in the 80s.


12 posted on 08/18/2005 2:40:21 PM PDT by doodad
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To: drjimmy

Quality adverbs! Very good!


13 posted on 08/18/2005 2:43:10 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Officially around the bend, at least for now.)
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To: doodad

For funerals? Are you sure you're not confusing a 21 salute with 3 volleys?


14 posted on 08/18/2005 2:44:10 PM PDT by tfecw (It's for the children)
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To: tfecw

I looked it up. She's right on this one. The USA Today article says he got a 21-gun salute.


15 posted on 08/18/2005 2:47:05 PM PDT by Cool Chick
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To: Lancey Howard
Goofy. This is the kind of stuff writers come up with when they are completely out of ideas.

That, and they can't be bothered to check the facts before they hyperventilate through the keyboard.

16 posted on 08/18/2005 2:47:23 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: tfecw

7 gunners x 3 volleys = 21 gun salute. Right?


17 posted on 08/18/2005 2:48:10 PM PDT by T.Smith
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To: drjimmy
I'm sorry, but, with all respect, I think you are being too harsh. Look at the link above, and read the information about other foreign nationals buried at Arlington.

A number are Allied personnel who died while stationed in Washington during the First and Second World Wars. These people deserved honorable burial, but it would not have been feasible to send the bodies back to their native lands in time of war.

The next largest group, into which the Iraqui in question also falls, is comprised of foreign service personnel who were killed in air crashes along with Americans and whose remains are indistinguishable from those of their American comrades. During WWII, we apparently had an agreement with the Brits that when remains were intermingled in this fashion, they would be turned over for burial to the nation having the most service members aboard the aircraft. It is for this reason that British General Ord Wingate, leader of the famous Chindits in the Burma campaign, is actually buried at Arlington. I suspect there are Americans interred for the same reason in England.

I know space at Arlington is limited and will one day run out. However, I think our nation can and should be gracious enough to accord this brave Iraqui a decent burial beside his American comrades. We don't owe it to him. We owe it to ourselves to be big enough to accord him this honor.

18 posted on 08/18/2005 2:48:14 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: All

I'm not sure what I think on this one. It's a toughie, and that's why I didn't post a comment either way. But you'll at least probably agree with her other new one from today, "FBI Would Have Ignored Able Danger Warnings." I forgot to put her name in the title, so I doubt that many saw it.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1466136/posts


19 posted on 08/18/2005 2:50:38 PM PDT by Cool Chick
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To: blau993

Dr. Jimmy was saying that the Iraqi *should* be buried in Arlington. The outstanding adverbs were applied to the article's author, who said that he should not be.

(Orde Wingate)


20 posted on 08/18/2005 2:51:15 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Officially around the bend, at least for now.)
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To: T.Smith
Volleys are different than a 21 gun salute. Besides, the most gunners I've seen do a volley was 4.


http://www.snopes.com/military/21gun.htmn

This site has it all. The initial question has nothing to do with this, but the explanation has some nifty info for those who are into trivia :)
21 posted on 08/18/2005 2:52:17 PM PDT by tfecw (It's for the children)
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To: tfecw

"And will U.S. servicemen get the 21-gun salute and fly-over by U.S. Air Force jets that Abass' burial got?"


"I highly doubt that Abass got a 21 gun salute. I do know that any U.S. service men aren't going to get one. 21 gun salutes aren't standard fair."

For the record, it's NOT a 21-gun salute that's done at military funerals, it's three volleys of rifle fire. A 21-gun salute is one or more guns (those big things with wheels and tubes that go boom) firing one after the other until the number 21 is reached. A 21-gun salute is reserved for heads of state.

Refer to a rifle as a "gun" around an Army drill sergeant or a Marine Corps drill instructor and see what happens. You'll get dropped for so many push-ups they'll have to bring three meals from the mess hall for you!


22 posted on 08/18/2005 2:53:23 PM PDT by billnaz (What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand?)
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To: Cool Chick
USA Today is wrong.

A 21 gun salute is fired by cannons or artillery pieces and is reserved for a head of state. Lesser numbers are fired for foreign ministers, other cabinet members and flag officers.

What is fired at a military funeral is three volleys. Here is the description taken from the American Legional protocol manual for military funerals: "The firing party may include three to eight riflebearers, reflecting the American military custom of firing 'three volleys of musketry' over the graves of fallen comrades."

If there are seven members of the firing party, there will coincidentally be 21 rounds fired, but it is not a 21 gun salute.

23 posted on 08/18/2005 2:57:47 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: blau993

21-gun salutes are fired by naval guns or saluting batteries with artillery pieces for Presidents of the United States, former Presidents of the United States, foreign heads of state and members of reigning royal families.


24 posted on 08/18/2005 3:01:01 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: blau993; billnaz
Thanks, I was doing some fact checking on the USA today. I wouldn't expect them to know the difference. I did see that Navy Seals.com & airforcetimes.com either reprinted the USAToday article or just used the AP story so i was starting to doubt myself :)
25 posted on 08/18/2005 3:01:33 PM PDT by tfecw (It's for the children)
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To: Cool Chick

She and USA Today as well as every other ignorant journalist who thinks that three rifle volleys constitutes a 21-gun salute are wrong.


26 posted on 08/18/2005 3:03:35 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: tfecw

Glad to help. I happen to next to the Naval Academy, so we are very used to ceremonial salutes. It is actually kind of fun to count them and try to figure out who was visiting the Mids that day. My Labradors are probably the calmest dogs you will ever see in the presence of artillery fire!


27 posted on 08/18/2005 3:06:49 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: marron

On top of that, he was an allied soldier fighting alongside American troops in pursuit of the same goal. Those little pieces of American soil scattered throughout Europe have a number of foreign nationals interred in them, too.

I doubt the rest of the Arlington residents will mind.


28 posted on 08/18/2005 3:08:22 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: tfecw

You are right. I was a kid but it was 21 shots. I do remember shorter artillery salutes as well. See ya.


29 posted on 08/18/2005 3:10:14 PM PDT by doodad
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To: T.Smith
7 gunners x 3 volleys = 21 gun salute. Right?

Wrong. 7 riflemen firing three volleys = three rifle volleys. Rifles are not guns.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/customs.htm

PRACTICE OF FIRING CANNON SALUTES:

The custom of firing cannon salutes originated in the British Navy. When a cannon was fired, it partially disarmed the ship. Therefore, firing a cannon in salute symbolizes respect and trust. Click here http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/arms.htm for information on the Order of Arms of Cannon Salutes

PRACTICE OF FIRING THREE RIFLE VOLLEYS OVER THE GRAVE:

This practice originated in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield. Once each army had cleared its dead, it would fire three volleys to indicate that the dead had been cared for and that they were ready to go back to the fight. The fact that the firing party consists of seven riflemen, firing three volleys does not constitute a 21-gun salute.

21-GUN SALUTE:

All personal salutes may be traced to the prevailing use in earlier days to ensure that the saluter placed himself in an unarmed position. Salute by gunfire is a most-ancient ceremony. The British for years compelled weaker nations to make the first salute, but in time international practice compelled "Gun for Gun" in the principle of an equality of nations.

In the earliest days, seven guns was a recognized British National Salute. Those early regulations stated that, although a ship could fire only seven guns, the forts could fire for honors three shots to one shot afloat. In that day powder of sodium nitrate was easier to keep on shore than at sea.

In time, when the quality of gun powder improved by the use of potassium nitrate, the sea salute was made equal to the shore salute -- 21 guns as the highest national honor. Although for a period of time, monarchies received more guns than republics, eventually republics claimed equality.

There was much confusion caused by the varying customs of maritime states, but finally the British government proposed to the United States a regulation that provided for "Salute to be Returned Gun for Gun." The British at that time officially considered the international salute to be 21 guns and the United States adopted the 21-gun and "Gun for Gun Return" August 17, 1875. Previous to that time, our national salute was one gun for each state. The practice was also a result of usage -- John Paul Jones saluted France with 13 guns (one for each state) at Quiberon Bay when the Stars and Stripes received its first salute. This practice was not authorized until 1810.

By the admission of states to the Union, the salute reached 21 guns by 1818. In 1841, the national salute was reduced to 21 guns. In fact, the 1875 adoption of the British suggestion because a formal announcement that the United States recognized 21 guns as an international salute.

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/jointservices/a/twentyonegun_2.htm

Today, the national salute of 21 guns is fired in honor of a national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President, and President-elect of the United States. It is also fired at noon of the day of the funeral of a President, ex-President, or President-elect, on Washington's Birthday, Presidents Day, and the Fourth of July. On Memorial Day, a salute of 21 minute guns is fired at noon while the flag is flown at half mast. Fifty guns are also fired on all military installations equipped to do so at the close of the day of the funeral of a President, ex-President, or President-elect. Gun salutes are also rendered to other military and civilian leaders of this and other nations. The number of guns is based on their protocol rank. These salutes are always in odd numbers. For example, the Vice President of the United States, Secretary Defense, and Secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy all rate 19 guns. The highest-ranking generals in the services (Commandant of the Marine Corps, Chief of Naval Operations, and the Army and Air Force Chief of Staffs) all rate 17 guns. Other 4-star generals and admirals rate 17 guns. Three-stars rate 15, two-stars rate 13, and one-stars rate 11.

At military funerals, one often sees three volleys of shots fired in honor of the deceased veteran. This is often mistaken by the laymen as a 21-gun salute, although it is entirely different (in the military, a "gun" is a large-calibered weapon. The three volleys are fired from "rifles," not "guns." Therefore, the three volleys isn't any kind of "gun salute," at all).

Anyone who is entitled to a military funeral (generally anyone who dies on active duty, honorably discharged veterans, and military retirees) are to the three rifle volleys, subject to availability of honor guard teams. As I said, this is not a 21-gun salute, nor any other type of "gun salute." They are simply three rifle volleys fired. The firing team can consist of any number, but one usually sees a team of eight, with a noncommissioned officer in charge of the firing detail. Whether the team consists of three or eight, or ten, each member fires three times (three volleys).

The three volleys comes from an old battlefield custom. The two warring sides would cease hostilities to clear their dead from the battlefield, and the firing of three volleys meant that the dead had been properly cared for and the side was ready to resume the battle.

The flag detail often slips three shell-casings into the folded flag before presenting the flag to the family. Each casing represents one volley.

Much of the above information compiled from the Naval Historical Society and the Army Center of Military History

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/faq/salute.htm

What is the origin of the 21-gun salute?

The use of gun salutes for military occasions is traced to early warriors who demonstrated their peaceful intentions by placing their weapons in a position that rendered them ineffective. Apparently this custom was universal, with the specific act varying with time and place, depending on the weapons being used. A North African tribe, for example, trailed the points of their spears on the ground to indicate that they did not mean to be hostile.

The tradition of rendering a salute by cannon originated in the 14th century as firearms and cannons came into use. Since these early devices contained only one projectile, discharging them once rendered them ineffective. Originally warships fired seven-gun salutes--the number seven probably selected because of its astrological and Biblical significance. Seven planets had been identified and the phases of the moon changed every seven days. The Bible states that God rested on the seventh day after Creation, that every seventh year was sabbatical and that the seven times seventh year ushered in the Jubilee year.

Land batteries, having a greater supply of gunpowder, were able to fire three guns for every shot fired afloat, hence the salute by shore batteries was 21 guns. The multiple of three probably was chosen because of the mystical significance of the number three in many ancient civilizations.

Early gunpowder, composed mainly of sodium nitrate, spoiled easily at sea, but could be kept cooler and drier in land magazines. When potassium nitrate improved the quality of gunpowder, ships at sea adopted the salute of 21 guns.

The 21-gun salute became the highest honor a nation rendered. Varying customs among the maritime powers led to confusion in saluting and return of salutes. Great Britain, the world's preeminent seapower in the 18th and 19th centuries, compelled weaker nations to salute first, and for a time monarchies received more guns than did republics. Eventually, by agreement, the international salute was established at 21 guns, although the United States did not agree on this procedure until August 1875.

The gun salute system of the United States has changed considerably over the years. In 1810, the "national salute" was defined by the War Department as equal to the number of states in the Union--at that time 17. This salute was fired by all U.S. military installations at 1:00 p.m. (later at noon) on Independence Day. The President also received a salute equal to the number of states whenever he visited a military installation.

In 1842, the Presidential salute was formally established at 21 guns. In 1890, regulations designated the "national salute" as 21 guns and redesignated the traditional Independence Day salute, the "Salute to the Union," equal to the number of states. Fifty guns are also fired on all military installations equipped to do so at the close of the day of the funeral of a President, ex-President, or President-elect.

Today the national salute of 21 guns is fired in honor of a national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President and President-elect of the United States. It is also fired at noon of the day of the funeral of a President, ex-President, or President-elect.

Gun salutes are also rendered to other military and civilian leaders of this and other nations. The number of guns is based on their protocol rank. These salutes are always in odd numbers.

Source: Headquarters, Military District of Washington,

FACT SHEET: GUN SALUTES, May 1969.

Return to CMH Online
Last updated 3 October 2003

http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq40-1.htm
Return to Naval Historical Center homepage.
Return to Frequently Asked Questions page.

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Origins of the Twenty-One Gun Salute

The practice of firing gun salutes has existed for centuries. Early warriors demonstrated their peaceful intentions by placing their weapons in a position that rendered them ineffective. In early times, it was customary for a ship entering a friendly port to discharge its cannon to demonstrate that they were unloaded.

The rendering of gun salutes in odd numbers may be traced to the superstition that odd numbers were considered lucky. Seven, for example, was held by the earliest civilizations to have mystical powers. Seven gun salutes were widely used. Forts ashore, which could store gunpowder more readily and in greater quantity than on board ship, would sometimes fire three shots for each shot fired afloat. Salutes with an even number of guns came to signify that the captain or ship master had died on the voyage.

For many years, the number of guns fired for various purposes differed from country to country. By 1730, the Royal Navy was prescribing 21 guns for certain anniversary dates, although this was not mandatory as a salute to the Royal family until later in the eighteenth century.

Several famous incidents involving gun salutes took place during the American Revolution. On 16 November 1776, the Continental Navy brigantine Andrew Doria, Captain Isaiah Robinson, fired a salute of 13 guns on entering the harbor of St. Eustatius in the West Indies (some accounts give 11 as the number). A few minutes later, the salute was returned by 9 (or 11) guns by order of the Dutch governor of the island. At the time, a 13 gun salute would have represented the 13 newly-formed United States; the customary salute rendered to a republic at that time was 9 guns. This has been called the "first salute" to the American flag. About three weeks before, however, an American schooner had had her colors saluted at the Danish island of St. Croix. The flag flown by the Andrew Doria and the unnamed American schooner in 1776 was not the Stars and Stripes, which had not yet been adopted. Rather, it was the Grand Union flag, consisting of thirteen alternating red and white stripes with the British Jack in the union.

The first official salute by a foreign nation to the Stars and Stripes took place on 14 February 1778, when the Continental Navy ship Ranger, Captain John Paul Jones, fired 13 guns and received 9 in return from the French fleet anchored in Quiberon Bay, France.

The U.S. Navy regulations for 1818 were the first to prescribe a specific manner for rendering gun salutes (although gun salutes were in use before the regulations were written down). Those regulations required that "When the President shall visit a ship of the United States' Navy, he is to be saluted with 21 guns." It may be noted that 21 was the number of states in the Union at that time. For a time thereafter, it became customary to offer a salute of one gun for each state in the Union, although in practice there was a great deal of variation in the number of guns actually used in a salute.

In addition to salutes offered to the President and heads of state, it was also a tradition in the U.S. Navy to render a "national salute" on 22 February (Washington's Birthday) and 4 July (the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence).

A twenty-one gun salute for the President and heads of state, Washington's Birthday, and the Fourth of July became the standard in the United States Navy with the issuance of new regulations on 24 May 1842. Those regulations laid out the specifics:

"When the President of the United States shall visit a vessel of the navy, he shall be received with the following honors: The yards shall be manned, all the officers shall be on deck in full uniform, the full guard shall be paraded and present arms, the music shall play a march, and a salute of twenty-one guns shall be fired. He shall receive the same honors when he leaves the ship."

"Upon the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, the colors shall be hoisted at sunrise, and all the vessels of the navy shall, when in port, be dressed, and so continue until the colors are hauled down at sunset, if the state of the weather and other circumstances will allow it. At sunrise, at meridian, and at sunset, a salute of twenty-one guns shall be fired from every vessel in commission mounting six guns and upwards."

"On the twenty-second day of February, the anniversary of the birth of Washington, a salute of twenty-one guns shall be fired at meridian from every vessel of the navy in commission mounting six guns and upwards."

Today, the national salute of 21 guns is fired in honor of a national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President, and President-elect of the United States. It is also fired at noon of the day of the funeral of a President, ex-President, or President-elect, on Washington's Birthday, Presidents Day, and the Fourth of July. On Memorial Day, a salute of 21 minute guns is fired at noon while the flag is flown at half mast.

Sources: Gardner W. Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution 1: 159-60 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1913)

Naval Documents of the American Revolution 7 (Washington, D.C.: Naval History Division, Dept. of the Navy, 1976)

Naval Regulations, Issued by Command of the President of the United States of America, January 25, 1802 (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1970)

Rules, Regulations, and Instructions for the Naval Service of the United States... (Washington, D.C.: E. De Kraft, 1818)

Rules and Regulations for the Navy..., 27th Cong. 3d Sess., H. Doc. 148 (Washington, D.C., 1843).

21 May 96

http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Customes_Traditions/21_Gun_Salu te.htm

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
HISTORY AND MUSEUMS DIVISION For Latest Updates

Customs and Traditions

Back to Topics

The 21-Gun Salute

The 21-gun salute honoring the President of the United States, like many American military traditions, appears to be another custom inherited from Great Britain. In early times, it was customary for a ship entering a friendly port to discharge its broadsides to demonstrate that they were unloaded; eventually it became a British practice to fire a seven-gun salute. The forts ashore would fire three shots for each shot fired afloat.

The three guns fired on shore to one gun fired on ship had a practical explanation. In earlier days, gunpowder was made of sodium nitrate and was easier to keep on shore than at sea. When gunpowder was improved by the use of potassium nitrate, the sea salute was made equal to the shore salute. The use of numbers "seven" and "three" in early gun salutes probably was connected to the mystical or religious significance surrounding these numbers in many cultures.

Gun salutes continue to be fired in odd numbers, of course, and this is likely because of ancient superstitions that uneven numbers are lucky. As early as 1685, the firing of an even number of guns in salute was taken as indicating that a ship's captain, master, or master gunner had died on a voyage. Indeed, the firing of an even number of salute guns at the coronation of George VI in 1937 was regarded by at least one observer as an "ominous" portent.

Incidentally, the normal interval of five seconds in the firing of gun salutes likely is in order for the salute to have full auditory effect, and also to give the salute a more solemn character.

The United States presidential salute has not always been 21 guns. In 1812 and 1821 it was the same as the number of states, i.e. 18 and 24, respectively, which was also our international salute. After 1841 the President received a salute of 21 guns and the Vice President 17; currently the Vice President receives a salute of 19 guns.

There has evolved over the last 175 years or so a prescribed number of guns, set forth in various Army regulations, to be fired for various dignitaries in accordance with the perceived importance of their positions. On 18 August 1875, the United States and Great Britain announced an agreement to return salutes "gun for gun," with the 21-gun salute as the highest national honor.

Today, a 21-gun salute on arrival and departure, with 4 ruffles and flourishes, is rendered to the President of the United States, to an ex-President, and to a President elect. The national anthem or "Hail to the Chief," as appropriate, is played for the President, and the national anthem for the others. A 21-gun salute on arrival and departure with 4 ruffles and flourishes also is rendered to the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign country, or a member of a reigning royal family. In these ceremonies, the national anthem of his or her country also is played.

Incidentally, U.S. Naval Regulations require that a 21-gun salute be fired at noon on Presidents Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day.

Reference Section
History and Museums Division

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http://www.mdw.army.mil/reagan/General/firing_of_three_volleys.html

Military funeral honors may include the firing of three rifle volleys over the grave during interment. The president of the United States, as commander-in-chief of the country's armed forces, is authorized this honor.

The firing of three volleys over the grave of a fallen warrior has its origin in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield.

Once the dead were removed, three-musket volleys were fired as a signal that the battle could resume. A firing party of seven service members traditionally fires the volleys. The fact that a firing party might consist of seven service members firing three volleys does not constitute a 21-gun salute.

It has also been suggested that the custom may have deeper roots. In Roman customs, mourners would cast dirt on the coffin three times and this constituted a burial. They would also call the deceased by name three times and upon departure say farewell three times.

http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Customes_Traditions/Military_Salute.htm

Military Salutes

A unique aspect of military courtesy is the salute. It is a gesture of respect and sign of comradeship among military service personnel. Accordingly, the salute is a uniform gesture; meaning that the highest man in rank returns the salute in the same form in which it is rendered to him. By saluting first, no officer implies that he is in any sense inferior to the senior whom he salutes.

The origins of saluting, like so many military customs and traditions, is shrouded in the past, but there are several possibilities concerning its beginnings. In the medieval days of chivalry, mounted knights in mail raised their visors to friends for the purpose of identification. Because of strict adherence to rank, the junior was required to make the first gesture.

Another possibility concerning the origins of saluting comes from an age when assassinations by dagger were not uncommon. It became the custom in such times for potential adversaries to approach each other with raised hand, palm to the front, showing that there was no concealed weapon.

It seems reasonable to assume, however, that the hand salute as now rendered in the military, evolved to some degree from the British navy. There is general agreement among scholars that the hand salute is actually the first part of "uncovering" in front of a senior. That practice gradually evolved over time into merely touching the cap, and became the present salute.

There are several types of military salutes - the hand salute, the rifle salute at order arms, a rifle salute at right shoulder, and still another rifle salute at present arms. "Eyes Right" is another type of military salute which is rendered by troops in rank when passing in review.

A unique type of salute is the respect that is rendered over a grave by a military honor guard. Originally, three rifle volleys were fired into the air over the grave of a fallen soldier. This custom may well have originated in a perceived need to scare away evil spirits "escaping" from the dead. As in ancient times, it was believed that the hearts of the recently deceased were ajar at such times, allowing the devil to enter! Today, the homage and respect displayed at military funerals is a visible final tribute to those individuals who have served their country.

The various forms of military hand and gun salutes are administered by an individual or group as a sign of respect. Originating in customs, traditions, and even superstitions from our distant past, the salute has evolved from ancient times to become an important part of military etiquette.

Reference Section
History and Museums Division

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/ceremonies/clergy_information/Airforce/FH.htm

Following your services, military honors will be rendered.

Military honors consist of three rifle volleys by seven riflemen, "Taps" by a military bugler, and the formal folding of the flag.

30 posted on 08/18/2005 3:31:10 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: tfecw
Only the President of the United States gets a 21 gun salute. Others can get gun salutes but not 21. Got to watch Sgt.Gunny on Mail Call, History Channel. He explained this just the other night.
31 posted on 08/18/2005 3:33:45 PM PDT by fish hawk (hollow points were made to hold pig lard)
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To: fish hawk
Only the President of the United States gets a 21 gun salute.

Wrong. Read all of post #30.

32 posted on 08/18/2005 3:49:23 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: blau993
We owe it to ourselves to be big enough to accord him this honor

Very well said.
33 posted on 08/18/2005 4:10:56 PM PDT by visualops (www.visualops.com)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Yeah, but where do the rounds land?


34 posted on 08/18/2005 4:13:55 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
You are right. I was talking about the 21 gun cannon salute. Wasn't thinking about rifles. If I am wrong on this then it is the History Channel's fault as that is where I learned about it.
35 posted on 08/18/2005 4:20:08 PM PDT by fish hawk (hollow points were made to hold pig lard)
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To: blau993
We don't owe it to him. We owe it to ourselves to be big enough to accord him this honor.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

36 posted on 08/18/2005 4:28:13 PM PDT by Rider on the Rain
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To: Cool Chick

A bridge too far for Debbie.


37 posted on 08/18/2005 4:31:00 PM PDT by bvw
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To: A.A. Cunningham

A link, by itself, would have been more than sufficient.


38 posted on 08/18/2005 5:53:10 PM PDT by T.Smith
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To: tfecw

Cool, thank you.


39 posted on 08/18/2005 5:54:12 PM PDT by T.Smith
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To: ken5050
I was just about to type all of what you did - and since you did, I'll just a big DITTO.

Two of the men buried in Arlington of these 6 lived very close to me and I went to their Memorial services. I was honored to learn of their dedication to their familes, to their Country and to their God. Outstanding men, all of them. I'm not going to weigh in on the murderer, but since the remains from the Memorial weekend crash canNOT be separated out, they made the right call. Sheesh, some people don't read, do they?

40 posted on 08/18/2005 5:57:56 PM PDT by TruthNtegrity (Will someone please get Mrs. Sheehan some grief counseling?)
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To: blau993

Please read my post again. I think we completely agree on this issue, and you put it well why Schlussel is so wrong.


41 posted on 08/18/2005 7:01:43 PM PDT by drjimmy
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To: drjimmy

Sorry about that. I had meant that post to go to someone else, and I clicked on your name in error.


42 posted on 08/19/2005 6:28:56 AM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: T.Smith

For someone like you, I doubt it.


43 posted on 08/19/2005 6:59:59 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

blanks


44 posted on 08/19/2005 7:01:32 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham

"For someone like you, I doubt it."

Either you have had previous conversations with that person, or you enjoy posting unnecessarily arrogant little insults. which is it?


45 posted on 08/19/2005 7:13:49 AM PDT by Flightdeck (Like the turtle, science makes progress only with its neck out.)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Wow, what an ugly person you are.


46 posted on 08/19/2005 7:18:57 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: Flightdeck

Since you don't know and thus are ignorant of the subject at hand then you should keep your mouth shut.


47 posted on 08/19/2005 10:04:27 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Cool Chick

Another author who could never understand why Solomon didn't go ahead and literally split the baby in two.


48 posted on 08/19/2005 10:08:19 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: T.Smith
Oh, that really breaks my heart; sniff, sniff.

Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise. By the way, you're welcome for the education you've been given on this thread. I seriously doubt you would have taken the time to read all of that information had I only posted the numerous links. Not only that but other people benefitted from the information that was presented and they didn't have to go to another site via hyperlink to get it.

It's clear that in addition to critical thinking skills, mommy and daddy didn't teach you any manners, either.

49 posted on 08/19/2005 10:21:36 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: A.A. Cunningham
"It's clear that in addition to critical thinking skills, mommy and daddy didn't teach you any manners, either."

Pot. Kettle. Black.

I ask a simple question and am berated by an a-hole. It must be hard for you to keep friends. I'm finished with you now. Buh-Bye.

50 posted on 08/19/2005 10:27:38 AM PDT by T.Smith
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