Sword & Spoken Word

Funerary Service for the Men of the ISV Beacon of Faith (Excerpt)

Any man, when pressed, might struggle to survive, to preserve his own existence. But when the five thousand men of the ISV Beacon of Faith pressed by the enemy, when their strength was overcome, they chose not to struggle for their own survival, but for ours. They chose to be a Beacon of Faith indeed, and purchase the lives of others with their sacrifice.

There is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we’re never quite good enough to them-not really; we can’t be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it’s a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember.

It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of the Imperium, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like High Lords, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for humanity, for us. And all we can do is remember.

- Funerary Address by Bishop Mikael Arint of Demaris

Somewhere in the universe, a coin flip lands on its side.
Somewhere in the universe, a drop of water saves a life.
Somewhere in the universe, a pebble turns away a landslide..

Perhaps it is because someone believed hard enough.
Perhaps it is because, secretly, destiny can be fair.
Perhaps it is simply because the universe is a vast place, and anything can happen.

Yesterday, I was very cold.
Yesterday, I was alone, and I despaired.
Yesterday, I wanted to run away.

Today, I am going to believe hard enough.
Today, a pebble will stop a landslide.
Today, I am not going anywhere.

- Inscription on a monument (author unknown)



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