Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
A/N: Even though I’m a few weeks late, I wanted to do something for June 6, so I’m writing this.
Dedication: This is dedicated to all of the brave men and women who fought for freedom from the beaches of Normandy to the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. We owe you more than we can ever repay.
Xander Harris looked around at the American Cemetery above Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. After the Sunnydale was destroyed, the Scoobies moved around a lot. Xander, himself was scheduled to go to Africa to look for new Slayers. He was okay with it, but he told them that he wouldn’t be able to go right away; there was someplace he had to stop first. The place he had to stop was here.
As he looked around, he thought back to the last time he was here, 59 years ago. The beach had looked a lot different then. He still remembered the rolling seas as the Higgins Boat headed towards the beach. The Scoobies think that they have seen battle and horrors. They have truthfully seen nothing. He still remembered the screams of dieing men. He had been one of the lucky ones that day. He hadn’t been wounded at all.
He turned as the Scoobies walked up.
“Xander, what are you doing here?” asked Buffy.
Xander smiled sadly, “Just visiting some old friends, Buffy,”
“Who, these old graves?” asked Kennedy is derision.
“Kennedy, shut up. Without the sacrifices made by these and every other serviceman that day, you wouldn’t be allowed to act like … you do,” Xander replied angrily.
“Let me tell you a story about a young paratrooper who, due to a late arrival back from a Top Secret Operation, landed at Omaha Beach on June 6, with the first wave. This paratrooper was over 2000 years old and had seen numerous bloody battlefields as well as blood and gore in his life. All of those battles, and all of the men this paratrooper had served alongside with through the centuries, none impressed him more than the way the young men who stormed the Beaches did so knowing that they would probably be killed, but did so anyway in the name of freedom. His entire squad was killed in the assault, but in a cruel twist of fate, he wasn’t even injured.
After the battle was over, he personally saw to the bodies of his squad mates and wrote letters home to each of their families personally. When the families were given the chance to bring home the bodies of the squad a few years later, every family said no, they died for freedom and would stay with their fellow brothers. They were buried right here. These five graves are the Squad members. So, Kennedy, when you have lived through over 2000 years of battles with the wounded screaming and pain, the dead lying everywhere, and your squad mates are being killed by a machine gun in a pillbox, then you can talk about these men. Until then, shut up, and don’t talk badly about these men or any of the others who have fought for freedom.”
Everybody was silent as they thought about the story. Xander had turned and was walking away when Faith yelled, “What happened to the paratrooper?”
Xander paused, looked over his shoulder and said, “He eventually moved to Sunnydale, met a Blonde Slayer and fought by her side for seven years. Now, he’s heading for Africa.” He then continued on as the others looked at him is shock.
Giles turned to the graves and said, “Thank you.”
TO ALL MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED SERVICES, PAST AND PRESENT, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. ALSO, A SPECIAL THANKS TO AMERICA’S GREATEST GENERATION.