During Police Memorial Week, we honor our fallen officers with parades and services held throughout the nation. The services are heavy with honor and tradition and encompass a vast amount of symbolism and ceremony. One symbol is the Riderless Horse.
During tomorrow’s parade and memorial service, you may notice one officer leading a horse with no rider. The horse is draped in a black blanket and the stirrups of his saddle contain empty boots, facing backward. This solemn and expressive gesture symbolizes the final ride of a soldier who will ride no more. The boots facing backward represent the soldier looking back on his platoon, and his family, one last time.
Tomorrow, when you attend the parade, or when you watch it on tv, look for the symbols. Notice that the badges of all of the officers are covered in a black mourning band, the flags are at half-staff; watch the warrior’s last ride. Let these symbols be a reminder of those who we have lost, those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. The parade, the Tattoo and the symbolism of Police Memorial Week are a celebration of the memory of the fallen.