I am a whisper on the wind,
of times past and places long forgotten:
Valleyforge, Gettysburg, Batan, Pearl Harbor,
Normandy, Seoul, Saigon, Loas, Kuwait, Iraq.

I am the heart of the countless numbers:
scarred and maimed.
American Veterans.
And the soul of the buried unknowns.
I am the integral part of each white cross
in Flanders Fields.
And I am sealed within each name on the wall.
I am part of each and every headstone of every American veteran in every cemetery around the world.
 
I am deeply enmeshed in every tiny undiscovered bone fragment of an American veteran left behind,
on foreign soil.
I am the unseen shadow, the unheard voice
in those many empty cells
that once held my brothers in unspeakable torture.
I am the unbearable pain in the hearts of every...
Mother, Father, Wife, Husband,
Brother, Sister, and Child of the missing...
American Veterans from all wars.

I am within each and every teardrop shed
by family members for their unaccounted for loved ones.
I am the essence of each and every drop of blood
shed in the past or the future,
by an American Veteran in the name of freedom.
I am the lifeblood of the colors of the American Flag:
Blue for my loyalty and dedication,
White for my steadfastness,
Red for my pride and love of my country.

 I am the spirit of each name on the black granite wall.
...Of all those unaccounted for in every war.
Of those who went away to war,
galant young soldiers and came back older than time
or not at all.
I am:
The Spirit Of The American Soldier!
God Bless America
Land of the free
Home of the brave.



Dedicated to the memory of
  T/Sgt. Richard M. Cole Jr. MIA 6/18/72
  By Beverly Haire 1998


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