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Beliefs Born On The Battlefield

A U.S. soldier on watch in central Baghdad on Nov. 7, 2008.
Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images

There is perhaps no time that belief is more emphatically tested, and acted upon, than in war. For this Veterans Day, five essayists who served in battle from World War I through the Iraq war describe how the violence of combat shaped their beliefs.

Arthur S. Abramson was shot by a German sniper during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He wrote about his belief that love, mercy and truth are the common property of all mankind.

James N. Young served on Gen. John Pershing's staff in France during World War I. He wrote about his belief that humankind is moving toward a world in which warfare is unknown.

Roger Angell spent four years in the Army Air Force during World War II. He wrote about his belief that all of mankind's true greatness and civilization lie in the future.

Michael Whitehead served in the Army and Army Reserves for 30 years. He writes about his belief in the people of Iraq and the need for the U.S. to see the war to its completion.

Jeff Carnes did tours of duty in Kosovo and Iraq. Carnes writes about an Iraqi man who taught him to believe in the strength of the human soul.

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