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Norwich, the United States of America
January 15th, 1777

Ten thousand soldiers shuffled slowly through the small town of Norwich in Connecticut. Not a single smile could be found amongst the soldiers as they all marched orderly towards a small graveyard towards the outskirts of Norwich. The town's inhabitants, who were warned of the procession beforehand, all watched solemnly as the group marched through the streets with an empty coffin towards the front. Nearly all of the inhabitants of Norwich were out of their homes and workplaces to witness the march, as the man the procession was for was a native of Norwich. A large American flag covered the wooden coffin, and the soldier at the very front carried a single headstone that was made in memory of a distinguished American hero.

General Samuel Kim led the procession and gathered the group around three marked graves that were already adorned with flowers. He smiled sadly as he ordered the headstone to be placed gently next to the graves, directly next to a headstone that was labeled, "Margaret Mansfield Arnold."

After the headstone was firmly planted into the ground, all the soldiers took off their caps and remained silent for a minute. Then General Kim spoke.

"I have never met anyone as brave as General Arnold, and perhaps I never will again. No matter what the odds were, he always answered when duty called. All of my victories, victories that have been accredited to me, should have been accredited to this man. Because without him, I, and the United States, would have never been able to achieve those victories. The Battle of Fort St. Johns, the Battle of Quebec, and the list goes on. General Arnold inspired and saved thousands by leading his men courageously and seizing victory in every battle he fought in."

"My biggest regret is that he is not here with us today, celebrating the independence of our new nation; a nation that he believed in and fought for until the end. But I can rest easy because I know that he is in a better place and smiling upon our victory. And even after his death, his legacy and name will carry on through our nation. I'm sure that he is also laughing heartily in heaven as his namesake ship terrorizes the British at sea."

Scattered laughter rang out between some of the men, but the mood became serious quickly once again. General Kim took out a hat worn by General Arnold and placed it on the man's headstone, which read:

"Here lies Major General Benedict Arnold. A caring brother, a loving son, and a hero of the American Revolution. May his name be remembered for more than fifty generations."

The empty casket was lowered into the ground and two muskets, along with an officer's sword, were laid on top of the casket. As the soldiers shoveled dirt on the casket, General Kim gave his parting words.

"It is with great pride that we stand here, independent and free, due to your efforts. And we will ensure that the hopes you held for this nation carry on, even after your death. General Arnold, we are here and you will never be forgotten."

Thirteen muskets rang out in unison as the soldiers paid their final respects for General Arnold. General Kim held back tears as he left his own cap on top of General Arnold's grave and departed after a few minutes of prayer.

Before he left Norwich, he still had several matters to attend to.

Escorted by a group of marines, the Asian officer made his way to General Arnold's family home and knocked on the door gently. The door opened to reveal a young woman his her early twenties, whose facial features were somewhat similar to that of Arnold's. She caught the sight of General Kim and bowed, "Thank you, sir."

"Are you planning to visit his grave anytime soon?"

"After the soldiers leave. It seems like my brother is sorely missed by the men that were under his command during the war."

General Kim nodded silently and sighed, "I'm sorry."

Hannah Arnold frowned, "Do not be, sir. Benedict knew what he was signing up for and joined the Army willingly. While I was corresponding with him throughout the war, he seemed much happier than during his time here. His life was filled with hardships, but he truly found peace and a cause worth fighting for while he was in the front lines. If anything, you lifted him up back on his feet during his lowest times."

"Even so, he was under my command when he died and because of my actions, he left behind three young children without parents."

"If it's a burden for you, sir, then there's no need to adopt them," Hannah said, "I can provide for them with the remaining estates and Benedict's pensions."

"No, I do not think of it as a burden. I truly want to provide for them and it is the least I could do in his memories," General Kim replied. He knew that the remaining Arnold was struggling financially even with the remaining estates and pensions and that it was difficult for Hannah to take care of three children and work, "Are they in your home?"

The woman led him inside privately and introduced to him to Arnold's three young sons, "The oldest one is Benedict, named after his father. The second eldest is Richard, and the youngest is Henry."

Without hesitation, the general lowered himself to the boys' heights and patted their shoulders, "Hello Benedict, Richard, and Henry. My name is Samuel, and I was good friends with your father."

"Is he coming home?" Henry asked.

Upon hearing the question, General Kim's heart nearly shattered, "No, little one. But he is in a better place now. I can not replace your father, but I will take care of you like my own sons. I promise."

He planned to live in New York City after things settled down and were planning on getting into a more serious relationship with one Elizabeth Green in the near future. He reached an agreement with Hannah that he would have the boys visit every month and allow her to visit them whenever she wanted, along with some donations to help her maintain Benedict's business. While he knew that he could never replace General Arnold's presence, he was going to make sure that they grew up to be outstanding people just like their father.

"Promise?"

"I promise."

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About the author

okmangeez

  • United States

Bio: 22-year-old Korean-American (got my American citizenship in 2019!) studying law and history at a UC.

Hobbies are studying politics (Asian and American politics are a specialty of mine), reading about WW2 and ancient Asian history, gaming, surfing the web, sleeping, eating, watching/playing sports, and getting into political arguments.

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