Small white headstones stretch off into the distance. The rain tumbles relentlessly over the short, green grass of the Arlington National Cemetery, and in sympathy, somber clouds roll slowly across the sky.
Sheltered beneath a knotted old oak, a grave is laid bare. The drops of rain bead and trickle down the side of the cedar casket. The flag, his flag, is draped, and softly billowed in the breeze.
In the distance, a young man stands alone. His black coat is pulled tightly across his chest, and his eyes are downcast. He listens to the padre's deep voice, the words breaking his heart as they echo the final farewell to his old friend.
The young man’s lips tremble with silent words and a disobedient tear rolls slowly down his face. One more loss, one more piece of his soul laid bare. The bugle plays its last post and he wonders how many times he must hear it.
Recalling the faces of the people he still mourns, he sighs, and his breath freezes in the cold air. Startled, he looks up as the sound of a woman’s tears drags him from his melancholy. He knows there is pain in her voice, but today, he is helpless to offer her comfort. Today, his own hurt is too raw.
The pain of this newest loss, the sting of his grief feels like a blow, and Daniel struggles to take his breath. So many words, so many opportunities left undone. “Gather your courage; shave your fear,” he murmurs, “for our mortality comes to us all.”
Then it is done. It is over.
Flag folded, casket lowered, Daniel barely registers the crowd as they drift slowly away. The shoulders of the bereft draped with the arms of family and friends. United in their grief they murmur their goodbyes, and with a deep sadness etched on their faces, go their separate ways. Daniel turns, and blindly stumbles to his car, his boots sliding on the rain-slicked path.
A shower of rain hiding his tears, he shivers, and turning around, takes one last look at the final resting place of his friend.
A warm hand on his shoulder and Daniel is lost to the moment. Breath hitched with grief, he turns into the warmth and looks into understanding brown eyes of his friend. With the barest amount of words, Jack O’Neill tells him what he needs to hear.
“He knows, Daniel. George knows.”
|Summary:||Daniel says his goodbyes.|
A Tribute to General George Hammond
Author's Chapter Notes:
A Tribute to Don S Davis.
Chapter End Notes:
RIP Don S Davis.