What if there were 15.3 million dead American soldiers? Imagine it. Legions of the unburied down rows of summer corn, strewn along riverbanks, and discarded on roadsides. And imagine if many of the boys’ bodies had lain there for months or even years, for the fighting was so fierce and the resources so few that only the fortunate lay in shallow mass graves. Imagine, too, that in addition to the 15.3 million dead, many millions more young men were injured beyond any ability to resume their pre-war lives due to amputation, disease, and trauma.
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