Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye to World War I's Last Doughboy!

Photo Credits: KC Star
He didn't seek the spotlight, but when Frank Buckles outlived every other American who'd served in World War I, he became what his biographer called "the humble patriot" and final torchbearer for the memory of that fading conflict.
Frank Buckles enlisted in World War I at the age of 16 and died on February 27th at the age of 110. He was born here in Missouri, but was raised in Oklahoma and died in West Virginia. He went to numerous recruiting stations until he convinced the right person he was old enough to enlist.

There are two other World War I veterans still alive from outside America. The survivors are Florence Green in Britain and Claude Choules in Australia.

Buckles was remembered at a ceremony at Liberty Memorial here in Kansas City this past Saturday, March 12th. Richard Myers, a former Air Force general and the onetime chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said,
"Frank Buckles passing means that there are no more living memories of World War I. So it is important for all of us to keep this memory alive."
President Barack Obama ordered that the day Buckles is buried that all U.S. flags on official buildings be lowered to half-staff. A burial is planned at Arlington National Cemetery.

Kansas City is honored to have the only World War I museum and it was an honor to have a ceremony for him here.