Feb 28, 2011

RIP Frank Buckles

So, I haven't written anything for a really long time. Sorry about that. Anyway, some sad news that I just saw: the last American veteran of World War I has died. Frank Buckles, at 110, was the final one of 4,734,991 Americans to have served in the Great War. He was a Missouri farm boy, born in 1901, who served in France from 1917-1920. In World War II, he happened to be in the Philippines and was held by the Japanese as a civilian POW for three years. He held no particular distinction in the Army; that is, he didn't do anything more remarkable than almost all the millions of other men with which he served. It seems fitting, however, that the last standing veteran of a war should be just a normal guy, since those 'normal guys' are the ones who really do the work of war, yet their overwhelming contribution is often the least celebrated.

As an aside, there are still two remaining World War I vets in the world. I imagine that in the next few years, they too will pass, and the world will keep on revolving, barely noting it.

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