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Tears for the Fallen

A chill breeze whips through the churchyard, leaves ripped free from their moorings and sent flying through the air. The harbinger of an approaching squall. Above the sky grows dark, clouds covering the face of the earth. Blocking out the light of the sun. Rain, first a few teasing drops, then more, pelting down with angry force as the heavens break forth in a torrent. The man stands there, seemingly untroubled by the gale. A spear gripped tightly in his right hand, a shield strapped to his left forearm. Wind swirls around him, rain lashing at his granite cloak. And yet there he stands, unflinching. The storm is nothing to him. He has seen thousands of them, hundreds more fierce. What is one more? He stands above the grave of a fallen hero, a man who stood as hardily in the defense of his country as the statue stands now in remembrance of his deeds. His name? It matters not—that has been lost long ago, the inscription to his heroism worn away by the elements. The only tribute left to him is the statue, a stony soldier standing in remembrance of the unknown. A country lives today because of this man and his comrades, their lives forfeit in a forgotten conflict. Rain smites his face, running in rivulets down stony cheeks formed by the hands of a long-ago craftsman. Tears. Tears for the fallen. . .

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