Houston, Texas So Small, So Sweet, So Soon

Too many babies die before their first birthday. Joan Mahon and a corps of volunteer mothers are trying to save their lives

Babyland -- that's what the gravedigger called it. Then he pointed to the far side of Houston's Hollywood Cemetery, where a sea of tombstones gives way to a grassy hillside. A dainty marble cherub, its head severed at the neck by vandals, guards the spot. Surrounding the lifeless angel are scores of infants' graves, most with modest plaques, one raising a silent protest: SO SMALL, SO SWEET, SO SOON.

In a far corner lies a new grave, the bare earthen mound not yet pounded flat by rain. A miniature Christmas tree, a few cheap ornaments clinging to its brown branches, adorns...

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