Guard of honour

A guard of honour (GB), also honor guard (US), also ceremonial guard, is a guard, usually military in nature, appointed to receive or guard a head of state or other dignitaries, the fallen in war, or to attend at state ceremonials, especially funerals. In military weddings, especially those of commissioned officers, a guard, composed usually of service members of the same branch, form the Saber arch. In principle any military unit could act as a guard of honour. However, in some countries certain units are specially designated to serve as a guard of honour, as well as other public duties.

The Special Ceremonial Detachment of the 302nd JGSDF Security Company mount the honour guard during an official visit from the Vice-President of the United States.
A guard of honour drawn from the Pakistan Army prepares to lay a wreath at the army's General Headquarters.

Guards of Honour also serve in the civilian world for fallen police officers and other civil servants. Certain religious bodies, especially Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Methodist movement, have the tradition of an Honour Guard at the funeral of an ordained elder, in which all other ordained elders present "guard the line" between the door of the church and the grave, or hearse if the deceased is to be buried elsewhere or cremated.[1] The practice of providing a guard of honour as a mark of respect also occurs in sports, especially throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.