U.S. Military salutes can wrench emotion from one’s soul. Who can hold back a tear when shots echo through the countryside at a funeral, or not be overwhelmed with pride when the big guns on a ship roar across the seas?
These salutes are steeped in military tradition, some dating back hundreds of years. But, there are many misconceptions about military salutes. This is understandable, though, considering the number of salutes for various occasions. Some have even changed over the years, sometimes through acts of Congress. All of them, however, are intended to demonstrate great honor to those for whom they are conducted. This includes fallen members of the military, presidents, heads of state and even the nation.
Three Volley Salute
One misconception is calling the shots fired at a military funeral a 21-gun salute. Even if there are seven soldiers firing three rounds each, this is not a 21-gun salute, because the soldiers aren’t using guns, they’re using rifles. In the military, guns are considered artillery. Instead, the shots fired during a military funeral are called the firing of three volleys in honor of the fallen.