Wearing a hat inspired by the one that President Lincoln wore, Dina Gutierrez attends an event Monday at Lincoln's Cottage. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

The polished boots with silver spurs were placed backward in the stirrups of the riderless horse Monday, and a gleaming silver sword was hung from the black saddle.

Timeless symbols of a fallen leader, the trappings of loss marked the start of Washington’s 48-hour commemoration of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, 150 years ago Tuesday.

Lincoln was shot shortly after 10 p.m. on April 14, 1865 in Ford’s Theatre by actor John Wilkes Booth, and died in a boardinghouse across the street the next morning, April 15, at 7:22 a.m.

Lincoln’s assassination was a tragedy in three acts

President Obama is scheduled to declare April 15 a formal Day of Remembrance, according to Ford’s Theatre.

The ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary began Monday with a reenactment of Lincoln’s last ride to his summer home, now President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home, on Upshur Street NW.

Members of the Army’s Old Guard ceremonial unit, the Metropolitan Police and Montgomery County’s Goshen Hounds made the trip with the riderless horse, which was led by a soldier.

The horse was the veteran, Sgt. York, who had done similar duty in the funeral of President Ronald Reagan in 2004, said Sgt. First Class Jeffrey Tyree. Sgt. York was decorated Monday with a gold, heart-shaped breast plate.

The commemorative ride, which started at Pennsylvania Avenue NW, began at noon and wound its way north to the cottage, which served as a refuge for Lincoln and his family during the Civil War.

The Civil War at 150

His family would move there during the summers to get away from the downtown heat, and Lincoln would commute between there and the White House.

“We are retracing Lincoln’s commute route,” Erin Carlson Mast, executive director of President Lincoln’s Cottage, said Monday. “On April 13, 150 years ago today, he rode out to the soldiers’ home from downtown D.C. for the last time.”

Mast said he probably visited the cottage about 3 p.m. for an unknown purpose. He returned to the White House that day and went to Ford’s Theatre the following evening. Mast said the cottage still has the drinking glass that Lincoln used on the visit.

Elsewhere, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has on display the plush, Lincoln-monogrammed open carriage that he, his wife, Mary, and two guests rode to the theater the night of the assassination.

Rememberence and reflection on the anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination

For its part, Ford’s is hosting a candlelight vigil for the public overnight Tuesday outside the theater. The vigil will feature 150 reenactors describing events of the night.

Inside, the theater is hosting a sold-out tribute, "Now He Belongs to the Ages: A Lincoln Commemoration," which is scheduled to be live-streamed via the Internet starting at 9 p.m. at www.Fords.org.

The event is set to include appearances by singer-songwriter Judy Collins, civil rights leader Julian Bond, historians Harold Holzer and James L. Swanson, and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.

The theater complex — which includes the Petersen House, where Lincoln died, and the Center for Education and Leadership — will be open, but admission requires advance timed entry tickets, available free at the Ford’s Theatre Web site.

The education center has a powerful exhibit of Lincoln artifacts, including the pistol Booth used, a blood-stained American flag from the theater, and the contents of Lincoln pockets the night he was killed.

The contents included a pair of broken eyeglasses the president had mended with a piece of string.

At 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, a period-music tribute is scheduled to be held outside the Petersen House. At 7:22 a.m., Taps will be sounded, followed by a wreath-laying and remarks by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

At 8 a.m., church bells are scheduled to toll across the city.