World: How Tough is a Hero?

The highest award in the land is the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was given to only 94 super-heroes in all of World War I. Last week it was awarded for the first time in World War II—posthumously to Second Lieutenant Alexander Ramsey Nininger Jr., of the Philippine Scouts, for "intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty."

Sandy Nininger was a gentle boy, not one with an urge for heroics. Sandy was a friend of beauty. He loved poetry: his father once caught him reading Baudelaire in French, and chided him for it. He...