The Brave Shall Live Forever

Lindsay Klettenberg | Lake Havasu City

During World War II, the following letter, and response from Editor Raymond Carlson, appeared in the April 1943 issue of Arizona Highways. On this Memorial Day, we're honored to share it with you again.

In 1941 a party of airmen of the Royal Air Force, from this country, were located at Thunderbird Airfield, for training; moving later to a new Airfield.

Amongst the many aspects of hospitality shown to them by the citizens of Phoenix and its neighborhood, you very kindly gave to each of them a year's subscription of Arizona Highways, the splendid publication of your Highway Department.

My younger son, Gilbert Tannahill Dawson, was one of the party, and he arranged that your magazine should be sent to my wife and myself. I have often desired to thank you for your gift and the kindness shown to my son and his companions, but pressure of work, accentuated by the war, has led me to postpone doing so until now. I should like you to know that we have greatly enjoyed your magazine; it is a beautiful publication, and makes us wish that it were possible for us to visit your great State and see something of its beauty and its wonders. I have been in the U.S.A. myself several times but never managed to get as far west as Arizona.

My son continued his training in England until June of last year, as a bomber pilot, and was sent to the Middle East, to join the Air Force in North Africa. I am sorry to say that just before Christmas we received the sad news that he had died from injuries received on November 22nd, at Bone, Algeria. It was a great blow to us as somehow we had always expected him to come home again, despite the danger of his calling. Our loving Heavenly Father has seen fit to take him Home instead. He would have been twenty-one in a few weeks, had he lived. His older brother, a lieutenant in the army, is at present engaged in the fighting in Tripolitania.

You can understand that, as the memories of the past come before us, we have a warm feeling towards all the friends who, in so many ways, showed kindness to his son and his companions while they were in your great country, and we should like to thank you with all our hearts.

— Gilbert Dawson, 20 Church Road, Hertford, Herts, England.

To Mr. and Mrs. Dawson Arizona Highways expresses, in behalf of the people of Arizona, deepest sympathy for the loss of their son. These English boys who have been with us have not only won the esteem of our people but they have done so much to earn the greatest admiration for their country. Many English boys and many American boys will give their lives for their countries before this war ends. We will remember, though, through our fears and our losses, that the brave shall live forever, and these are the brave, the gallant brave, who will fight to the end with a smile on their lips.

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