All hail Liberia, hail!

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Ricent1
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#76 Post by Ricent1 » Feb 02 2015

September 24th, 1964:

I stare at the index cards with the words I have written. I am terrible at speeches. I am sitting in the front row in an uncomfortable suit with Mrs. Barclay sitting next to me on one side, and Yousef's widow, Euphemia, on the other. The Archbishop of Monrovia glances at me, nods, and says, "...and now to deliver the eulogy, President Nbote."

I start to stand and Euphemia places her hand on mine and gently taps twice as a sign of reassurance. I smile at her and then head for the podium. I adjust my tie and hope it matches my azure blue dress shirt. I prefer military dress, but now that I am president, I can't do that anymore without looking like a dictator.

Standing there, I look out across the crowd at the faces. Some I know, many I don't. In the front row is Edwin's surviving family; Asatu with a broad, black mourning hat which covers her face, Euphemia and her father on Asatu's left. On the widow's right is Eddie (looking so much like his dad, glasses and all) and Aya. Directly behind them I see Pham (my new security chief) and General Knibonu (our recently promoted leader of the military). I am amazed to see Philip Jennings' family there also, just 2 days after their son's quiet, private funeral. Major Puckett is near the door in his dress greens and beret. He is scanning the room and taking all data in. Old habits die hard, I guess.

There are so many others I don't know. An elderly man alone in the back with his hands resting on a red cane between his feet. A young woman holding an infant and gently rocking him. As I stare at her, I wonder if the rocking is to soothe the child or the mother. Others all looking back at me, many with tears in their eyes. All in pain, all experiencing the sadness of loss.

"Gandalf tells Frodo in the mines of Moria, 'All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us'". This is how I start the eulogy of a fallen president? A quote from Tolkien? Good Lord! I must be his only fan in Liberia, but I don't know what else to say. "Edwin Barclay decided well what to do with the time he was given. He cared for his family, his friends, and the people of Liberia. There are many things many of you will never know about this man, about the courage and honor he exhibited in fulfilling his office these many years."

"He was selfless in his love for his country. He hated injustice and exploitation. Whether here, or the Gold Coast, or Venezuela." I glance to my right as a head nods. It's Maria Espinoza. She made it here. Her cousin, the colonial leader is sitting next to her.

"But for me, the greatest attribute of the man was his friendship and sense of humor he shared with those closest to him. I remember when 4 of us on Edwin's security detail rushed into a hotel room thinking Ralph Puckett was an assassin. The lieutenant proceeded to disarm all 4 of us, place our revolvers in an icebucket, and tie us to various pieces of furniture in the room."

"After the incident was over, and we realized Puckett was meeting us to train our first regiment of airborne rangers, Edwin promoted me to General of the Army. The first day I walked into my new office, the same table from the hotel room was in the middle of the floor, with the set of handcuffs still attached to one of the legs. A note by Edwin lay on top reading, 'Stick around a while. We need you here.'" The audience of mourners, desperate for something to take joy in, burst into deafening laughter. I glance back at Major Pucket, he is smiling and shoots me a quick salute.

"I will miss you my friend. You were like a brother to me. Rest in peace."

The family gathers around the casket to say their goodbyes and Asatu grabs me and has me join hands with her and Euphemia. Euphemia grips my hand extra hard. She leans her arm against me. I lean back.

Euphemia never lets go of my hand and we walk out together. As we exit the hall, Euphemia points at the trash receptacle by the door and asks, "What is that?' A gray wig and a red cane have been thrown away. I smile and say, "That's Major Tnarg saying hello and paying his respects."
Edwin's funeral.jpg
Edwin's funeral.jpg (80.16 KiB) Viewed 2790 times
Colonel Ralph PUCKETT.gif
Colonel Ralph PUCKETT.gif (31.35 KiB) Viewed 2790 times
Last edited by Ricent1 on Feb 03 2015, edited 1 time in total.

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Anthropoid
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#77 Post by Anthropoid » Feb 02 2015

Only read the last page, and glanced at the preceding page however. . .

You sir have a gift of the story teller! Your ability to weave common English language into commentary about persons, places and things is pretty remarkable. I'd say extraordinary but I dislike being proven WRONG, and "extraordinary" writing ability is a label reserved for those who can actually sell product.

That said, I do hope you are still playing and intend to grace us with more of your witty, compelling and silly AAR/storylines.

Akatosh Bless!

Ricent1
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#78 Post by Ricent1 » Feb 02 2015

High praise indeed. Thank you.

Ater
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#79 Post by Ater » Feb 23 2015

Its amazing how long you have kept this going! +1
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -Albert Einstein

D.B. Cooper
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#80 Post by D.B. Cooper » Apr 11 2015

What a great story sir. Im glad to see a good ol' boy from Tifton could help get your son back. I have enjoyed this from the beginning, looking forward to more.

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GreenGoblin
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#81 Post by GreenGoblin » Apr 12 2015

Agreed. Great AAR.

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Anthropoid
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#82 Post by Anthropoid » Mar 03 2018

Did Liberia become Supreme Ruler?

Ricent1
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Re: All hail Liberia, hail!

#83 Post by Ricent1 » May 25 2018

No, I was wiped out by South Africa shortly after. I am considering writing a book based on the characters. I will change the president to William Putnam who governed from 1945 to 1971. Sort of a Jason Bourne covert ops meets Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Putnam is trying to forge a future for his country by dragging it kicking and screaming into the 20th century, all the while getting caught up unwillingly into international intrigue with a former KGB agent named Tnarg and a beautiful, but deadly latina assassin named Maria. If it publishes i will pay thanks in the forward to all the folks on the forum who encouraged me. Who knows, with the drought of scripts in hollywood, maybe someone will take a chance with it?

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