By STEVE PADILLA
In Ernie Pyle's words, World War II museum staff members find inspiration for sanctifying soldiers' sacrifice
"Here in a jumbled row for mile on mile are soldiers' packs.
"Here are socks and shoe polish, sewing kits, diaries, Bibles and hand grenades.... Here are toothbrushes and razors, and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand."
The words appeared in American newspapers on June 17, 1944, contained in the last of three reports war correspondent Ernie Pyle filed depicting the aftermath of D-day.
In his signature style, detailed and deceptively simple, Pyle described the "human litter" that extended in "a thin little line, like a high-water mark" along the beaches of Normandy after the June 6 landing.
Writing paper and air mail envelopes constituted the most common debris, after cigarettes.