Last US WWI Vetran turns 109. We Will Get Off Your Lawn When We Finish Saluting You
Today former Cpl. Frank Buckles turned 109, and as the last surviving US WWI Veteran he has spent his most recent years lobbing congress to upkeep and restore the WWI memorial in Washington DC. From the CNN article:
“In 2008, the old soldier came to Washington and visited that 1930s-vintage District memorial. In his wheelchair, helped along by a military aide, he slowly crossed the cracks in the flagstone walkway, and saw the cracks in the marble gazebo.
Still sharp at only 107, he noted during that visit that the names engraved along the gazebo’s marble walls are only of those who hailed from District of Columbia.
Buckles that day also met with then-President George W. Bush at the White House and Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon.
Later in 2008, Buckles was the guest of honor at Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. He said he considers it his duty to represent his fellow soldiers.
“I have to,” he told CNN, “because I’m the last living member of Americans,” who fought in what was called The Great War.”
There aren’t a whole lot of WWII vets left, none the less WWI veterans. The Great War, and the following conflict WWII (The Great War, Part II as most historians think of it), were some of the most violent and horrific encounters in human history. Advanced weapons technology allowed human beings to kill each other in numbers unknown to history previously, and in the most terrible of ways.
Take a moment today to thank the men (and womenfolk too) who came before you, who fought and died for your freedom and security.