Saying Goodbye to Dad

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Dark clouds thundered across the sky, closed wooden coffins lay in a straight line before a sea of mourners dressed in ebony. A white marble soldier, rifle on his shoulder, saluted the onlookers. Beneath him the epitaph to the fallen was intricately carved. Many marines stood rigid in their blue formals and white berets. Eyes downcast they saluted the statue as morose music rode the wind.

A priest stood in a dark robe clutching the podium strongly. "Heavenly father, we have gathered before you today to honour our fallen brethren. We commend their souls unto your almighty hands, that they may know eternal peace." He bowed his head and silence fell over the grief-stricken onlookers. Those unlucky few, who had experienced the atrocity and lived to tell the tale, together with the family members of the fallen soldiers stood, silent, in attendance as the twenty-one gun salute was fired. The flag, symbolising everything they had died fighting for, waved at half mass paying tribute to the fallen saints.

A woman, Hope, was hidden among the mass with the other soldiers’ families, holding the hand of a small boy. Tears fell like a river down both of their cheeks. The young boy wrapped his arms around his mother's leg and sobbed. Hope's hand gently held her child's as tears cascaded down her cheeks. She couldn't comprehend that he was gone. He was confident that he could go out and make the world a better place. He'd always seemed so untouchable, like nothing could ever break him,
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