Silently they stand, tall, strong pillars of memory in a seemingly long since forgotten world. Rows upon rows of white marble glisten in the first rays of the rising sun. The shimmer of morning frost still graces their elegant arches as the brisk air begins to take on a slightly warmer tone. In this quiet hour, not quite night, yet still not day, one lone man stands respectfully next to a small, almost insignificant grave stone. His head hangs slightly bowed, and except for the small hunch in his back, he stands at perfect attention.
Unnoticed by the swirling city around him, he slowly removes his cap and looks out across the hill before him. His gaze sweeps over the expansive garden of marble and granite. Millions of white headstones grace the green hillsides, most of them appearing small and humble. Every so often, however, the man sees a taller, more significant looking headstone. He knows these stones were meant to be impressive and eye catching; but to him, there is nothing more touching than the stone which stands before him. Only the rank of a private, a name and two dates grace the stone's face. Some might say this is rather insignificant compared to the graves containing generals or captains. Others might take the time to note how young the man was when he died at the age of twenty-one, and think he still had his whole life left to live. This lone man, though, views the grave stone entirely differently. To him, Private Michaels was more than just a name carved into a head stone, more than a private, more than just a twenty-one year old boy. Private Michaels had been his best friend.
In Arlington Cemetery, there are hundreds upon hundreds of heroic men lying silently, their sto...
... middle of paper ...
...rice of our freedom. Many have stepped back and taken a good look at the struggles our founding fathers went through to plant our country on a firm foundation based on freedom.
As the old man stood silently surrounded by the stillness of the morning, he thought back to the days of his youth. Private Michaels and he had grown up together, and were thought to be closer than any two brothers. Where one went, the other was sure to follow, even to the extent of entering the Second World War. Together, they fought side by side, defending their country as well as the lives of many innocent people. Michaels gave his own life over to enemy fire, shortly before the end of the war, so his best friend could live. Standing there with rays of warmth caressing his back, the old man realized there truly was no greater love than the gift his friend had given him, and his country.
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