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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Photo of soldiers gathered around the grave of Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt, who died in aerial combat on July 14, 1918. L'Aerophile Collection, Science, Business and Technology Division, Library of Congress (127.00.00)
Rudyard Kipling to Theodore Roosevelt, July 18, 1918. Kermit and Bella Roosevelt Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (128.00.00)

The Loss of a Son

July 1918 was a rending time for the family of Theodore Roosevelt. On July 14, Theodore Roosevelt's youngest son, Quentin, an AEF pilot, was shot down and killed. All four of Roosevelt's sons served in World War One, but only Quentin was killed in action. In this letter, noted author Rudyard Kipling, whose own son had perished in the war, attempts to console Theodore Roosevelt. The Roosevelts chose not to bring Quentin home for burial, his gravesite pictured here is in France. Writing to General Peyton March, Roosevelt noted: "We have always believed, that ‘where the tree falls, there let it lie.'" Although many American families brought their fallen sons home, numerous others, like the Roosevelts, chose to have them buried where they died.