This is the busiest day of the year. I’m usually up before the dawn, making sure that the grounds are clean. Not that they are ever messy, but as a sign of respect, I push myself to be more dutiful than normal. Especially on this day.

People will flock in by the thousands today, looking for relatives, friends, lovers. The tears will water the green grass and the few red poppies. I’ll be there, in the background, collecting garbage, putting tissues in the hands of those that need them. Silent as the ghosts of those that have passed.

It is the least that I can do. For the men and women that laid down their lives, and because I abandon them when they needed me.

When the next generation of warriors and leaders come, I can’t help but hang my head. Here are the heroes, living in the legacy that I should have left. Decorated from head to toe, they march in with confidence, only to leave in a somber stroll.

The day drags on, seeming to last for days. The last few mourners give me a grateful smile as they leave the grounds. Not that I have done that much, not compared to those that lie here.

The sun sets, and darkness comes. The day is over. My secret still undiscovered, my shame still hidden. I cry myself to sleep, knowing I let all these men and women down. Especially on this day.

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