This is the fortieth of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway. For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

Cottonwood Tree

August 17, 1944

The Petrified Forest, Arizona

Dear Nicholas,

I convinced my mother to take a drive into the petrified forest. It’s a beautiful day and we finished our picnic lunch. No matter where you’re at, beauty can be found if you know where and how to look. There is so much beauty here waiting for you, but even in the midst of battle and in the horror that you see, there is beauty. There has to be. If all the men in all the armies of the world stopped believing in beauty, they would have no recourse other than to commit suicide for there’d be no hope left. I know you can’t see it right now and you probably don’t think you’ll ever see it again, but there is beauty. There is always beauty. Thank you for all you’ve done for me.

Take care my love,


Next letter – August 20, 1944