Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Soldier's Cross

The Fallen Soldier Battle Cross, Battlefield Cross or Battle Cross is a symbolic replacement of a cross on the battlefield or at the base camp for a soldier who has been killed. Made up of the soldier's rifle with bayonet attached stuck into the ground, helmet on top, dog tags sometimes hanging from the rifle and the boots of the fallen soldier next to it. Its purpose is to show honor and respect for the fallen at the battle site. The practice started during the American Civil War or maybe earlier as a means of identifying the bodies on the battleground before they were removed.
Today, it is an immediate means of showing respect for the fallen among the still living members of the troop. It might be seen in the field or base camp after the battle in Afghanistan or Iraq. Used less today as a means to identify the fallen but more as a private ceremony among those still living as a means to mourn, as attending the funeral is not always possible for soldiers still in the fight.
This memorial is at the Muscogee County Courthouse in Columbus.


LD said...

Thanks. A heartfelt reminder of young lives lost and why I should be grateful every day for my basic freedoms.

cieldequimper said...

A very nice memorial in a not so nice place! ;-)

Rambling Round said...

I've never seen this before. Nice.

Paula said...

Thanks for that, I had never read anything about it, certainly a dignified way to remember someone.