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Thread: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

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    Senior Member Toad's Avatar
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    Default Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/27/wwi.veteran.death/#


    Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    By Paul Courson, CNN
    February 28, 2011 5:52 a.m. EST



    Washington (CNN) -- Frank Buckles, the last U.S. World War I veteran, has died, a spokesman for his family said Sunday. He was 110.
    Buckles "died peacefully in his home of natural causes" early Sunday morning, the family said in a statement sent to CNN late Sunday by spokesman David DeJonge.

    Buckles marked his 110th birthday on February 1, but his family had earlier told CNN he had slowed considerably since last fall, according his daughter Susannah Buckles Flanagan, who lives at the family home near Charles Town, West Virginia.

    Buckles, who served as a U.S. Army ambulance driver in Europe during what became known as the "Great War," rose to the rank of corporal before the war ended. He came to prominence in recent years, in part because of the work of DeJonge, a Michigan portrait photographer who had undertaken a project to document the last surviving veterans of that war.

    As the years continued, all but Buckles had passed away, leaving him the "last man standing" among U.S. troops who were called "The Doughboys."
    DeJonge found himself the spokesman and advocate for Buckles in his mission to see to it that his comrades were honored with a monument on the National Mall, alongside memorials for veterans of World War II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

    Buckles made history when he was asked to testify in Congress on the matter before a House committee on December 3, 2009.

    "I have to," he told CNN when he came to Washington, as part of what he considered his responsibility to honor the memory of fellow-veterans.
    Buckles, after World War I ended, took up a career as a ship's officer on merchant vessels. He was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II and held prisoner of war for more than three years before he was freed by U.S. troops.

    Never saying much about his POW experience, Buckles instead wanted attention drawn to the plight of the D.C. War Memorial. During a visit to the run-down, neglected site a few years ago, he went past the nearby World War II memorial without stopping, even as younger veterans stopped and saluted the old soldier in his wheelchair as he went by.
    Renovations to the structure began last fall, but Buckles, with his health already failing, could not make a trip to Washington to review the improvements. The National Park Service is overseeing efforts that include replacing a neglected walkway and dressing up a deteriorated dome and marble columns.

    Details for services and arrangements will be announced in the days ahead, the family statement said.

    Flanagan, his daughter, said preliminary plans began weeks ago, with the Military District of Washington expressing its support for an honors burial at Arlington, including an escort platoon, a horse-drawn casket arrival, a band and a firing party.

    "It has long been my father's wish to be buried in Arlington, in the same cemetery that holds his beloved General Pershing," Flanagan wrote as she began to prepare for the inevitable in a letter she sent to home-state U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia.

    "I feel confident that the right thing will come to pass," she said.
    In addition to graveside ceremonies, a proposal from U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, calls for a memorial in the U.S. Capitol, where Buckles' casket would be displayed with honors.

    Buckles in 2008 attended Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington at the grave of Gen. John Pershing, the commander of U.S. troops during World War I.

    He also had met with then-President George W. Bush at the White House, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon.

    "The First World War is not well understood or remembered in the United States," Gates said at the time. "There is no big memorial on the National Mall. Hollywood has not turned its gaze in this direction for decades. Yet few events have so markedly shaped the world we live in."

    Buckles' family asks that donations be made to the National World War I Legacy Project to honor Frank Buckles and the 4,734,991 Americans that he served with during World War I. Details can be found at: www.frankbuckles.org

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    Wow... I swear I was just reading something about this man a couple weeks ago. I'll have to see if I can find it.

    Rest in peace and thank you for your service Mr. Buckles.

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    Ah! Found it! He had just turned 110 at the beginning of the month - Happy Birthday Frank Buckles - The Last American Doughboy Turns 110

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    110.

    If only.

    God I want to be that sea captain that's 110 and still sailing....

    Rest in Peace Hero.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    To me he was all that much more a Hero not only because of his war service, but because he was fighting to have his fellow WWI service veterans properly recognized right down to the very end. A proper soldier still looking out for his buddies.

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    Wow, an end of an era, how sad. He is right too, we don't know enough about the Great War. I remember reading years and years ago how WW2 vets were dying at a rate of 1,000 per day. Before long they will all be gone too. It's important that we honor and never forget about those who have sacrificed for us.

    Vaya con dios Frank Buckles

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    Never really thought about it much... but I'm a baby boomer. I was born in 1957. The war was over in November 10, 1947. I was born just 10 years after it was over.

    Thats like kids today... born just 10 years after 9-11. Think about that for a second. Most of us know about 9-11. We lived through it. Kids born today will read it in history and it is ANCIENT HISTORY to them/

    WWI was that much longer back for us
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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    The WW1 Memorial in KC is planning an exhibit to honor Mr. Buckles. I think his life story would make one hell of a movie.
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    If this is true, Mr. Boehner needs a swift kick in the balls. There should be absolutely NO question about Mr. Buckles receiving a Capitol ceremony.

    Jay, Manchin Say Boehner Blocking Capitol Ceremony For WWI Veteran Buckles
    March 3, 2011

    West Virginia's two Democratic senators blamed House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday after their hopes of having the remains of World War I veteran Frank Buckles honored in the Capitol Rotunda were dashed, at least for now.

    Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin III both released statements saying the Ohio Republican had blocked the Capitol honor. Asked if that were true, Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said the speaker and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would seek Defense Department permission for a ceremony for Buckles at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Buckles died Sunday on his farm in Charles Town, W.Va., at the age of 110. He had been the last surviving American veteran of World War I.

    The episode turned what West Virginia lawmakers had hoped would be easy approval for the rare honor for Buckles into a finger-pointing dispute with partisan overtones.

    It was unclear late Thursday how the disagreement would end. Asked whether Boehner would be supportive if the Senate approved a resolution allowing Buckles' remains to lie in the Rotunda, Steel said, "We'll see what the Senate does."

    The honor requires a congressional resolution or the approval of congressional leaders, according to the office of the architect of the Capitol.

    The bodies of prominent citizens have been displayed in the Rotunda on 30 occasions, starting in 1852 with Henry Clay, a Kentucky senator and congressman. Others include President Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, unknown soldiers from America's wars and civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

    Steel said Boehner and Reid will ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to allow a memorial service for Buckles at Arlington National Cemetery in nearby Arlington, Va., "surrounded by honored veterans of every American war."

    Reid spokesman Jon Summers said Reid and Boehner were "discussing alternatives." Summers would provide no additional detail.

    Members of both parties of West Virginia's congressional delegation had introduced resolutions to permit Buckles' casket to be honored in the Capitol. The House version was sponsored by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

    In his statement, Rockefeller called the dispute "a big disappointment and a surprising decision by the speaker."

    Manchin said, "I urge Speaker Boehner to reconsider this ill-advised decision. After all, there won't be another request like this.

    Rockefeller spokesman Vince Morris said lawmakers expected the resolution to "sail through" Congress this week.

    "We're kind of in a standoff," Morris said. "We're upset."

    Were Buckles granted the honor, he would be considered to "lain in honor." The term "lain in state" is traditionally reserved for elected U.S. officials or military officers, according to the office of the clerk of the House.

    In his final years, Buckles had campaigned for greater recognition for the 4.7 million Americans who joined the military in 1917 and 1918 during World War I. Among his goals was a national memorial in Washington for those who served in that conflict.

    President Barack Obama has ordered that flags on U.S. government buildings fly at half-staff on the day Buckles is buried. His family has said they plan to inter him at Arlington, just across the Potomac River from the capital.

    Buckles enlisted at age of 16 after lying about his age. He served in England and France, mostly as a driver and warehouse clerk. After the war ended, he helped repatriate German prisoners of war, returning to the U.S. in January 1920.

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    Why O why O why are they getting into a pissing match over the last man standing from WWI? Idiots.

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    Default Re: Last U.S. World War I veteran dies

    Steel said Boehner and Reid will ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to allow a memorial service for Buckles at Arlington National Cemetery in nearby Arlington, Va., "surrounded by honored veterans of every American war."
    Allow?

    There is nothing to "allow". He "GETS" it.

    Who Gets Buried in Arlington National Cemetery?

    By Chris SuellentropPosted Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001, at 4:47 PM ETThe Army won’t waive its rules for burial at Arlington National Cemetery to allow the captain of American Airlines Flight 77 to receive his own plot and headstone. What are the rules for determining who gets buried in Arlington National Cemetery?
    To quote Slate's deputy editor, the rules "read like the fine print on an insurance policy." The full list of rules is posted on the cemetery's Web site. Here's a distillation:
    Advertisement

    Former members of the armed forces: The last period of active duty must have ended honorably. Dying on active duty will get you in, unless you were serving on active duty for training only. All veterans who retire after 20 years of active military service can get in. Retired reservists are eligible only after they've reached the age of 60 and drawn retired pay, and if they also served a period of active duty other than training. (The American Airlines pilot, Charles F. Burlingame, was 52 and had served for eight years in the Navy.) All winners of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, or Purple Heart get in. Any former prisoner of war who died on or after Nov. 30, 1993, is eligible, if they served honorably in active service while a POW. Finally, former armed forces members can be buried in the same grave with a close relative who is the primary eligible person, if "certain conditions are met."
    Politicians and other government officials: The president or any former president is eligible. So is anyone who held an elective office of the U.S. government, as long as they served on active duty in the armed forces. The same goes for current and former Supreme Court justices, U.S. trade representatives, Office of Management and Budget directors, Social Security commissioners, National Drug Control Policy directors, U.S. attorneys general, and secretaries of state, treasury, defense, interior, agriculture, commerce, labor, health and human services, transportation, energy, education, and veterans affairs. If they served on active duty in the armed forces, they're eligible. So are former active-duty armed forces members who held any of the offices listed here (which includes the CIA director; the secretaries of the Army, Air Force, and Navy; the chairman of the council of economic advisers; the chairman of the Federal Reserve; and a variety of deputy secretaries). The final category of government officials who are eligible—if they served on active duty in the armed forces—are the chiefs of the U.S. missions to NATO, the Organization of American States, the United Nations, and a handful of countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil, Russia, China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.
    Spouses and family: The spouse, widow or widower, minor child, or permanently dependent child, as well as "certain unmarried adult children" of any eligible veterans are in, as are the surviving spouse, minor child, or permanently dependent child of any other person already buried in Arlington. Also eligible are the widows and widowers of armed forces members who were lost or buried at sea or officially determined to be missing in action. So is the widow or widower of an armed forces member interred in an overseas U.S. military cemetery maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission, or the widow or widower of an armed forces member who is interred in Arlington as part of a group burial. The parent of a minor child or permanently dependent child buried in Arlington based on the eligibility of another parent is eligible. However, divorced spouses, or widowed and remarried spouses, are not eligible.
    To learn more about Arlington National Cemetery, read this Slate article.
    Last edited by American Patriot; March 7th, 2011 at 15:01.
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