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A Special Remembrance: The Last WWI Veteran has passed away.

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IN HONOR AND MEMORY OF CORPORAL FRANK BUCKLES


LAST U.S. VETERAN OF WORLD WAR I (1914-1918)


 


 


 

 


Frank Buckles was buried Tuesday in Arlington National Cemetery, only 50 yards from the grave of Gen. John Pershing, under whose command he served. He was ushered to his grave with all the Army's Old Guard solemn pomp. His flag-draped casket was carried to the gravesite on a caisson led by seven horses, and his flag-draped coffin was set on polished rails above his plot. A chaplain commended his soul to God; rifle volleys cracked; a bugler sounded taps below the gentle rise. With flags at half-staff throughout the U.S. Military and government, it was a fine send-off for the country''s longest-surviving veteran of World War I, who died peacefully Feb. 27 in his West Virginia farmhouse.


After the service, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli handed the flag to Buckles' daughter, Susannah Flanagan.


Frank W. Buckles lived to be 110 year old, the last of nearly 5 million American veterans of a dimly remembered war — a generation now laid to rest.


In a late-day chill, after hundreds of strangers had paid their respects in public viewings since the weekend, soldiers carried the former doughboy's flag-draped coffin partway up a knoll and set it on polished rails above his plot, a stone's toss from the grave of his old supreme commander, Gen. John J. "Blackjack" Pershing.


Yet the hallowed ritual at grave No. 34-581 was not a farewell to one man alone. A reverent crowd of the powerful and the ordinary... The President and Vice President, laborers and store clerks, heads bowed; showed up to salute Buckles's deceased generation, the vanished millions of soldiers and sailors he came to symbolize in the end. They were the unheralded ones of 1917 and 1918, who came home to pats on the back and little else in an era before the country embraced and rewarded its veterans.


"I know my father would want me to be here", said Mike Oliver, 73, a retiree from Alexandria, leaning on a cane near the cemetery's amphitheater hours before the burial. Inside, a hushed procession of visitors filed past Buckles's closed coffin in the chapel. "I'm here for Mr. Buckles and I'm here for what he represents", Oliver said. On his left lapel, he wore a tiny gold pin, the insignia of his long-dead father's infantry division in World War I, the Army's 80th. "I'm here to say goodbye to my dad," he said.


Buckles, who lied to enlist his way into the Army at age 16, was a rear-echelon ambulance driver in war-ravaged France, miles behind the battlefront. More than 116,000 Americans died, about half in the fighting, most of the rest from illnesses, in the nation's 19-month engagement in a conflict that scorched Europe for four years.


BUCKLES AT AGE 16



Now the veterans who survived are gone. What's left is remembrance -- the collective story of 4.7 million lives, an obituary for a generation. Arriving stateside in 1918 and 1919, many of them scarred in mind and limb, they were met by a postwar recession and joblessness. A lot of vets felt that they were owed a boost, that they ought to be compensated for the good civilian wages they had missed. But lawmakers, year after year, said no.


"Oh, the YMCA did give me a one-month free membership", Buckles recalled when he was a very old fellow. Except for the $60 that most veterans got from the government when they mustered out, the YMCA gift was "the only consideration I ever saw given to a soldier after the war", the last doughboy said.


What he and other vets finally received, in 1924, were bonus certificates redeemable for cash in 1945. And Congress had to override a veto to secure even that. With the 1920s roaring by then, the young vets tucked away their certificates and went about their lives. Buckles became a purser on merchant ships, traveling the globe.


Then the Depression hit, and thousands of ruined veterans were left with nothing of value but the promise of eventual bonuses. In 1932, while Buckles was at sea, a ragtag army of ex-servicemen descended on Washington with their wives and kids to lobby for early redemption of the certificates, and a disaster ensued that would long reverberate.


Living for weeks in a sprawling shantytown on mud flats in Anacostia and in tents and hovels near the U.S. Capitol, the dirt-poor "Bonus Army", numbering more than 20,000, defied orders to disperse. So the White House unleashed the military.


Infantrymen, saber-wielding cavalry troops and a half-dozen tanks swept along the avenues below the Capitol, routing the veterans and their families in a melee of blood and tear gas. Then soldiers cleared out the Anacostia shacks and set them ablaze.


Two veterans died and hundreds were injured. Four years later, after a Florida hurricane killed 259 destitute vets at a makeshift federal work camp, political support tipped for the bonuses, and the generation that fought World War I finally got a substantial benefit.


"I think mine was $800", Buckles said of his bonus, equal to $12,000 today. He said he gave it to his father, an Oklahoma Dust Bowl farmer barely hanging on.


Mr. Buckles' daughter wanted her father to lie in repose in the U.S. Capitol, but Congress failed to approve that plan. Politicians remain divided over how to best honor Buckles and nearly 5 million former comrades. Mr. Buckles had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of the Great War in the nation's capital and asked about its progress weekly.


He had already been eligible to have his cremated remains housed at the cemetery. To be buried underground, however, he would have had to meet several criteria, including earning one of five medals, such as a Purple Heart.


Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died of natural causes in February, at his home in Charlestown.


Buckles never saw combat but joked, "Didn't I make every effort?"


RECEIVING AMERICAN FLAG 5-26-2008 -MEMORIAL DAY ACTIVITIES AT NATIONAL WW I MUSEUM IN KANSAS CITY



LYING IN REPOSE



CAISSON CARRYING BUCKLES TO GRAVESITE



PRESENTING THE FLAG TO HIS DAUGHTER



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjJ2pz0KxHc


"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion." - Proverbs 28:1

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Lady_jessie_max50

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Corporal Buckles was a national treasure, a living legacy and a wonder to behold.


The last veteran of World War I. Died at 110 years old.


Deepest respect and condolences.


The Guy !
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There is nothing that I can say, it would have been an honor to meet this gentleman. Rest in Peace.


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, do nothing." Dante

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Young Corporal Buckles and his fellow veterans live in the hearts of every one of us graced with having heard their stories.  Pass it on.  Pass it on.


The heart of a nation goes on.


In respect, and with deepest sympathy, remember and honor.


 

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Lord grant Eternal Peace to Former Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles, and may Your Light shine upon him, forever.


My deepest condolences to the family of Frank Buckles, and the country he served, on their loss.


Rest in Peace,  Mr. Buckles... .  You may now stand-down.


 


"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion." - Proverbs 28:1

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Excellent YouTube Video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjJ2pz0KxHc


"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion." - Proverbs 28:1

** Administrator, Officer Down Group : Line of Duty Deaths

** Co-Administrator, K-9 Line of Duty Deaths

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Deepest condolences to the family, R.i.P.

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Rest in peace. A true American legacy.

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RIP, A PART OF AMERICA DIED, A TRUE WARRIOR

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Thank you Sir for what mean to our country, the epitome of the true American spirit. May you rest in peace.


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The last of a generation of Veterans! Rest in Peace, Cpl Buckles!!!



In GOD We Trust (All others get searched, then checked through NCIC)

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IN HONOR OF OUR FALLEN

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More photos of Cpl Frank Buckles.................


 


In GOD We Trust (All others get searched, then checked through NCIC)

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IN HONOR OF OUR FALLEN

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RIP CPL BUCKLES

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Rest in peace sir. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. You are a true American hero.



~~T_9

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R.I.P. Sir. You have my utmost respect for your services. You are a hero. I am a fellow Missourian.

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Thank you for your honorable service to this great nation. May you rest in peace.


"I have a strict gun control policy. If there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it."

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our deepest condolence to the family.  R.I.P Sir you have my utmost respect for your services.

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Rest in Peace.. Thank you for your service and dedication!!!


Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.

Ronald Reagan

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Thank you for your service SIR.  God Bless you and your loved ones. God Bless all of our troops.  Rest In Peace.


"The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, they just know so much that isn't so..."
President Ronald Reagan
God Bless the USA.

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Rest in peace Cpl. Frank Buckles, Thank you for your service, It is with much Respect and Honor to know such a Great Hero and True American as yourself.


Godspeed Sir


"It's Never To Late To Be What You Could Have Been"

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RIP

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Rest in Peace Cpl. Buckles. Thank you for your service.

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A great American. Decorated or not, he still had more guts than most people. Thank you Sir!!!

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RIP. WWI hero, WWII prisioner for three years held by the Japanese in the Philippines. Incredible life. 

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Thank you Sir. Rest In Peace now with God.


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Thank you for your service Mr. Buckles. You make me proud to be an American. Your story needs to be told to these young kids today.


Tom

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R.I.P Mr. Buckles. Thank you for your service.

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Rest In Peace Sir


“The Difference Between A Successful Person And Others Is Not A Lack Of Strength, Not A Lack Of knowledge, But Rather A Lack Of Will.” ~ Vince Lombardi

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Rest in peace, Cpl. Buckles.  I am honored to read about this amazing man, a true American hero.  My deepest sympathy to your family and friends. 


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~I wondered why somebody didn't do something, then I realized I was somebody. ~ unknown

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