The wind, he wasn’t going to miss the parade. Swiftly, anticipating, as one enthusiastically awaits a spectacular homecoming, he gathered himself from the four corners and whirled in with the leaves. I saw him, I heard the whispers.
“Honor, valor, true grit,” the murmurs grew louder, and I perceived it was the wind passing the message to the leaves. “Heroes!” The leaves, they came rushing as a ghost army of soldiers, crimson and scarlet, yellow and brown, colors of sorrow to greet their standing comrades, themselves fallen and buoyed only by the wind.
The first wave of veterans marched down the main street, a strong one in the lead calling the marching cadence, “Sound-off, 1 – 2; Sound-off, 3 – 4.” The leaves curled with the rhythm of the call, and then suddenly, like footweary fighters, bowed before the veterans with a crackling applause.
“Remember!” bellowed the wind, “it is but disgrace to forget.”
“Glory!” rustled the leaves.
Together came the chorus, “We’ve seen where they’ve been, the battles they’ve won, how heavy the gun, carry on, carry on!”
And with one great gust, the wind bore the corps of fallen leaves past the procession of perseverance, into the distance, seeking another band to honor.
As he bid farewell, the wind called upon the flags to salute straight out, no star or stripe was hidden. “It was for this they fought,” he lastly hailed, and once more, “Remember!”
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