They were the greatest heroes of the American coast, routinely risking their lives in the grand maritime rescues. Their work was respected and honored by America's most prestigious leaders, celebrated in the most popular publications of their time and of deep interest to medical, educational, religious and political leaders. The Wright Brothers knew them well, poet Walt Whitman wrote of them, and the artist Winslow Homer painted them. But somehow America forgot these peaceful heroes. Yet anyone reading of their bravery today will always remember them. THE U.S. LIFE-SAVING SERVICE documents the heroes, rescues and architecture of the early Coast Guard.