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Voices from the scarlet calamity

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The saviors come not home tonight: Themselves they could not save.

— Lines from A.E. Housman, scribbled in a soldier’s diary.

On Oct. 27, 1947, thousands of caskets were unloaded from a ship in New York. The bodies of soldiers from the European theater, writes Rick Atkinson, “then traveled by rail in a great diaspora across the republic for burial in their hometowns.” Three young men, killed between the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and April 1945 in…

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