About the Book

No Greater Sacrifice, No Greater Love

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This is the story of a father and son whose relationship is severed forever by World War II, and the son’s discovery, some fifty years later, of the man his father was.

Growing up, Walter Ford Carter knew only a few basic facts about his father, who died when Walter was four years old. Elmer Norval Carter was a family doctor in West Virginia who volunteered for the Army and was killed by sniper fire while trying to rescue a wounded soldier on the battlefield.

Shattered by the loss of her husband, Walter’s mother rarely spoke about the topic. She never remarried or dated another man. But on her death in 1995, Walter finds his life transformed when he discovers, hidden in his mother’s attic, numerous letters that his father had written to her from their grade-school years to the days before his death.

This discovery propels Walter on his own journey. As Carter learns of his father, we experience the anguish of wartime, his father’s overwhelming longing for his wife and family, the arduous training maneuvers in England, the nobility and fellowship that inspires his father’s enlistment for the D-Day invasion, the landing at Omaha Beach, and his final days of fighting in the hedgerows of Normandy.

A half a century after the war, two men travel to France together to retrace a hero’s footsteps to a hedgerow near St.-Lô where a sniper’s bullet ended Dr. Carter’s life. One is the survivor who feels forever indebted to Walter’s father for trying to rescue him. The other, the orphan son, is moved to pay his respects to the father he finally knows. This book is part of that respect, a testimonial for time.