Fallen Heroes: Sgt. York, Arlington National Cemetery horse born in Jamesport

Sgt. York has served as the riderless horse in thousands of ceremonies, including escorting the casket of President Ronald Reagan. (5/23/14)

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WASHINGTON - A horse born on Long Island plays a poignant role in the funeral procession for veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Caisson Platoon carries the remains of American heroes to their final journey home at Arlington National Cemetery. It's an honor reserved for U.S. presidents, high-ranking military officers and service members killed in action.

Sgt. York, a black standardbred gelding born in Jamesport back in 1991, serves as the riderless horse in the procession. The riderless horse is a centuries-old symbol of a fallen warrior.

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Sgt. York has served as the riderless horse in thousands of ceremonies, including escorting the casket of President Ronald Reagan. Prior to that, he was a racehorse at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey. He was originally named “Allaboard Jules” and did not find much success.

The Third Infantry Regiment was looking for a new horse in its Caisson Platoon and was impressed with the horse’s regal stance and black beauty. The Army adopted him and renamed him after World War I hero Alvin C. York.

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