There had been the memorial service for Sirius the previous summer, but there had been no body to bury. Today there were nine, resting side by side in a row of simple wooden coffins. To one side stood eight men in the camouflaged uniforms of the Company of Tebo, their rifles held vertically in front of them.
Perhaps two hundred people were in a crowd on the other side of the coffins. Harry stood next to Roger Rene, who was staring at the last coffin in the line with tears running down his cheeks.
Overhead, the sky was full of scattered clouds. The group had assembled by Portkey and Apparition in a clearing miles from any Muggle development.
"There is no higher calling than to place oneself between the evil and the innocent." Captain Aislant stood at attention in front of the rank of coffins. "Death comes for us all, sooner or later. We can stand up and face it, as these men and women did, or we can try to hide from it, but it will claim us all just the same. I can only hope that when death comes for me, I will face it as bravely as they did. Honor guard, stand ready!"
The eight armed soldiers aimed their rifles at the sky.
"Volley, fire!" The rifles spoke, making Harry flinch.
"Volley, fire!" Roger turned his head away as the coffins were lowered into the ground.
"Volley, fire!" The squad returned their rifles to their shoulders.
"Honor guard, dismissed." The crowd began to disperse as the soldiers broke ranks.
Harry watched one of the Tebo soldiers walk towards Lieutenant Williams's grave, and draw himself to attention in front of it. The soldier saluted the coffin, then began to read quietly from a paper in his hand. Harry moved slightly closer so he could hear.
"Some will be remembered. Some will be cut down.
Some among their comrades lie. Others all alone.
My friend is not remembered. Her name is on no wall.
No medal struck for her. No tales they'll ever tell.
But wherever tales of bravery are told,
And Heroes praised by name.
She ever will look down and smile;
Her deeds shall live with theirs.
At Meggido they will all stand tall.
Legend - unknown - side by side.
Rally to the single call:
He let the paper fall into the grave, then picked up a shovel to join his comrades as they heaped dirt over the fallen.
Author's Note: The above poem is an original work by me, written for a similar set of circumstances.