It almost turned into a tragedy. Just a few inches saved the life of this soldier, or at least his saved him from serious injury…. yet he barely even flinched! What’s more – the ceremony continued like nothing happened, though surely some people noticed that unlucky shot. It required nerves of steel to stay calm under those circumstances when your comrade behind you just shot off your beret (probably accidentally). This Salute was conducted by Polish soldiers used to display respect at a funeral.
The Honor Salute is a ceremonial act performed at military and police funerals in many countries across the world as part of the drill and ceremony of the Honor Guard. It consists of a rifle party firing blank cartridges into the air three times. The custom originates from the European dynastic wars, where the fighting ceased so the dead and wounded could be removed. Then, three shots were fired into the air to signal that the battle could resume.
The firearm used is typically a rifle, in this case, it was is an AKMS (S – Skladnoy – Folding) 7.62mm assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is a common modernized variant of the AK-47 rifle developed in the 1940s. The metal stock of the AKMS is somewhat different from the folding stock of the previous AKS-47 model as it has a modified locking mechanism, which locks both support arms of the AKMS stock instead of just one (left arm) as in the AKS-47 folding model. It is also made of riveted steel pressings, instead of the milled versions of most AKS-47s.
The party usually stands so that the muzzles are pointed over the casket. However, if mourners are present near the grave, the party stands some distance away (often recommended at least 50 feet) so as to not deafen the attendees and minimize the disturbance.