I am a ghost. I am a thousand ghosts. I am hundreds of years old, and I am one day old. I have been sent to many different places. And for many different reasons, along with thousands of others. Many of us have been left to remain in these places as ghosts. I do not haunt any of the places I have been. Nor do I haunt anyone at those places, but I remain there. I simply roam the fields and the forests of the countryside. I can wander the streets of the cities and towns in the places I have been. I have been to visit some of these places for years, and sometimes for as little as a day. I have been to jungles and deserts, where I have been left, and remain to roam. I have been to seas and oceans around the world, and I am lost there.
Monuments have been erected, in my honor but to no one’s honor. Names have been given to these monuments, but they still do not explain who I am. People may sometimes grieve at these monuments, but they do not know who they are grieving for. And they will never know. I see the tears of the few and feel the pain of many, but I can not let them know. I am missed by some but never forgotten. I have heard people say that I am lost, but they don’t know who or where I am. But I am here, and I am there, and can not get here. I am not alone, but I am lonely. I am in the houses and buildings that people are in every day, and yet, it is like I am not there either. No one seems to know that I am there with them all of the time.
And as I am there, I am also somewhere else. I feel your presence, and I see what you have done. I see the new ghosts as they arrive in places I have been and places that I have not been. I see the ghosts; as they appear in places they never wanted to be, and for reasons, they don’t understand any more than I do. As I am left to wander in all of these places, I seek the peace that I can not seem to find; and the world so desperately needs. I have seen the reason for my being lost. But I will never understand why I have been left to roam in these places that I am and never wanted to be.
I am the ghost of men and boys. I am the ghost of women. I speak many different languages, and I am honored for one and many at the same time. I am a ghost. I am the ghost of one and the ghost of many, and yet, I am known to no one. I am here; you know I am here. Wherever you are, you know I am there, and yet you don’t feel my presence with you. Some may feel my hurt and my loss. And yet, they can not be sure of my loss. I feel the hurt of my loss. And yet, I don’t know why I am lost. I am a ghost. I am a thousand ghosts. Who am I?… I am the ghost of one and the ghost of all Unknown Soldiers.