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Smithsonian, Apr 17, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 199 pages
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Walter Ford Carter grew up knowing little about his father except that as a battalion surgeon with the 29th Division, he died in France eleven days after his D day landing on Omaha Beach while running to help another solider. For half a century, his mother never spoke of her husband--her sweetheart since childhood--or of the depth of her grief. On her death in 1995, Carter finds his life transformed on discovering a journal and some 150 letters his father had written to his wife and young sons in the months, weeks, and days before his death. The letters, excerpted here, are filled with candid, innocent, and at times wrenching expressions of love for family, the anguish and agony of war, and unshakeable faith in a country's noble cause--something almost unimaginable in our time. This is also the story of a son's midlife discovery as he learns of the extraordinary love his parents shared and finally begins to know the father he never had. His journey leads him to the man his father reached out to help so many years ago, and together they travel to Normandy to find the place where his father, a man who truly personifies "the greatest generation," gave his life to help another.

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About the author (2004)

Terry Golway is an editor and writer at "The New York Observer" and is a contributor to "America" and other national publication. He resides in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and children.

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