Check out this excellent tribute to Man O 'War from the Daily Racing Form:
This story, complete with video, audio and photos, describes in detail Man O' War's funeral. While it shows that a horse of his stature is in fact mortal, the story also reiterates the fact that equine athletes can be great heroes, and people should not be afraid to show their love and appreciation for them.
During the time of Man O' War, horses were well utilized, and they were a necessity in American society. Today, those of us in the racing industry are in the unique position of trying to market the Sport of Kings in a society where the horse is no longer put on a pedestal. Racing fans can be criticized for their appreciation of the beauty of the horse. Those who criticize, however, need only read this tribute to realize there is room for a little compassion in our rough and tough industry. It was there during the golden years, so why not now?
I hope 21st century greats like Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, and Curlin will be remembered and celebrated with the same enthusiasm and perfection that Man O' War was.