A Brief History Of The 21-Gun Salute
The U.S. commemorates those who've died in military service with a 21-gun salute on Memorial Day.By Matt Picht | May 28, 2016
On Memorial Day, the U.S. honors those who've died in service with a 21-gun salute. But where did the practice come from?
Saluting started out as a way to ritually disarm a weapon, signifying peaceful intentions. Ships coming into harbor would often first discharge their cannons to signify they were unloaded.
Initially, U.S. gun batteries would salute by firing one shot for each state in the Union.