|"France beloved of every soul that loves
or serves its kind."
ALTHOUGH so many Americans are giving heart and energy to the effort of lightening in some way the suffering of Europe, only a small proportion has chosen to take a part within the line of action. Those of us who have any one we care for there in the midst of it all know that, like men who go to explore mysterious distances, they are generally very much beyond our horizon for months at a time --- at least as regards correspondence. An intense sympathy for the purpose they have gone to serve makes news of them doubly welcome ---when it does come. Believing that those who have pleasant memories of the writer of these letters would be interested in reading these impressions written home, his mother and father have generously consented to put them into this form.
Having by affiliation with the work in which he is engaged a detailed knowledge of the circumstances surrounding it, it devolves upon me to say in justice that these pages give little idea of the very difficult task their author has successfully accomplished. Largely through his perseverance against great odds the American Ambulance Field Service, working constantly under fire along the whole western battle front, has become a very distinguished organization, trusted and relied upon by the armies of France. Whatever political impressions the French civilian may have gathered in regard to us as a nation, through the utterances of misrepresentative individuals, the French soldier, living or dying, has now finer evidence of the spirit of our countrymen.
No man --- whether critic or enemy --- may challenge the valor of France., nor her right to all honor; so to one who, stirred by passionate allegiance to her cause, has brought this tribute of our friendship for her to so high a standard, we owe truly a debt of gratitude. The opportunity and the will to do a work worth while have been spent here to full purpose. Many a young American who has had a part in this service will carry from it an inspiration which is better than peace --- for having labored among the men and women of France he will have known the vision of supreme sacrifice.
H. D. S.
GLOUCESTER, May, 1916
West 51st Street, New York, December 3, 1914.
rue Angélique Vevien, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Thursday night,
January 7, 1915.
March 2, 1915.
(in the Vosges), April 14, 1915.
Maurice-sur-Moselle, July 2, 1915.