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LETTERS

In memory of America's fallen

November 16, 2008

Thank you for Susan Spano's article on war graves ["Where History Cries Out," Nov. 9].

I'd like you to know that we in Britain have the American Military Cemetery at Madingley near Cambridge.

Here there are many graves, notably from the 8th Air Force. This is Memphis Belle country, you might say.

I have two sons, 13 and 8, and it is our annual pilgrimage to go to Madingley to say thank you to the men who fought alongside the Brits in World War II.

My hope is that, having brought my boys up to remember the brave souls who gave their lives, that they will do the same in their turn.

If so, your young men will be commemorated by our young men for well over 100 years.

Stephen Page

Felixstowe, Britain

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A great read that came from great research. It must have been a life-affirming trip, and Spano's writing reflected a deep insight gained from being there.

No doubt "Saving Private Ryan" was on her mind on more than one occasion.

There is no way for me to tiptoe to my point graciously. Please do not take any offense, but the phrase that soldiers "give" their lives is overused, and from first-hand eyewitness accounts in battle situations, "give" is not an accurate verb.

Soldiers lose their lives and fight for every last painful, dying breath; giving is not on the agenda.

The life was taken, and horribly at that.

This by no means diminishes my admiration of the work. It is merely my perception of how one word is constantly misused.

Jim Halsband

Las Vegas

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Thank you for your recent article on war cemeteries. My grandfather is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, not far from Verdun, in St. Avold, France.

I had the honor of going there a few years ago, taking with me some of my grandmother's ashes to be placed with his grave. Words cannot express the quiet beauty of the place, or the dedication of the staff to maintaining it to Arlington standards.

The cemetery is immaculately maintained, beautiful and utterly moving.

Thank you for drawing attention to these solemn and beautiful places. I will always remember my time there, and hope others will remember the sacrifices so many made.

Sean M. Burke

San Francisco

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Spano's article was spectacular.

The cemeteries in Belgium, France and Italy where U.S. soldiers are buried are eloquent testimony to the poetic dictum that "the paths of glory lead but to the grave."

Evan Dale Santos

Adelanto, Calif.

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