Addergoole Year 21
Context notes: Addergoole Year 17 (2011-2012) is the year that the world fell apart; i.e., the “gods” returned from Ellehem and 90% of both humanity and fae died.
This story might add a little more context, as well.
Content warning: Unabashed patriotism.
It was, if the calendar was correct — and Regine kept the calendar, so Luke would be willing to bet money on it being down to the minute — Flag Day.
Or it had been. Luke had watched the nation born and he had watched it fall apart, and he had lived through the whole two hundred -some years in between. He had watched the holidays grow, and grow, and some of them he had scoffed at and others he had loved, and he’d celebrated every single one of them, sometimes in private and sometimes in public and sometimes just so his kids knew that, whatever else they were, they were Americans.
Today, he pulled out a special box. There were more Preserve Workings on this box than there were lines in the wood grain, than there were stars in the flags. Any of the flags.
He walked solemnly out to the field on the edge of the Village. Mike trailed behind, dressed the way she had been when he first met her, albeit without the hoop or crinoline or other such things. It made her look like an echo. He thought that was appropriate today.
One by one, a few people from the Village, a few students he trusted, people who could read the calendar as well as he did, they trickled out. Bellona, who had been fast-tracking to the military before Addergoole called her, who came from a family of soldiers, pulled out a bugle .
Now where had she found that? Luke didn’t ask. He nodded at the flag poles that Doug had erected and, solemnly, he began raising flags.
One, two, three… this took awhile. The country had gone through more than a few iterations in its life time. When the last one had been raised up, Luke stood back and took them all in.
When he had been young, younger than the kids around him were now, he hadn’t been sure this young country would make it. He had fought and bled and nearly died more than once for that dream.
He saluted the flags. The trumpet music stopped. Luke noted that it was not just he and Bellona who were saluting the panoply of red, white, and blue.
He didn’t think he was the only one with a tear in his eye, either.
Luke’s flag collection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_the_United_States