Southern Belle's History

History from a southern belle.

One Man’s Last Stand

Four Million, seven hundred thirty four thousand, nine hundred and ninety one men of the United States enlisted in World War One, one man was left standing. This man has fought for what is rightly theirs, a monument in Washington D.C., honoring the one hundred sixteen thousand five hundred and sixty one (116,561) Frank Buckles at 16who lost their lives.

Frank Buckles is now one hundred and nine years old. He was born in Missouri and enlisted in military at age 16. Although he was not old enough, Buckles had a calling, a calling for honor and pride and so he told his recruiter he just wasn’t going to bring his family bible down to the recruiters office to show his birthday, that the man would just have to take his word for it, and that is what he did. Buckles served upon the Carpathia a ship used as a US troop ship during the war and later famous for rescuing passengers from the Titanic. A determined individual, Buckles wanted to be in the action in France. He was captured by the Japanese and spent two years in a Prisoner of war camp.(1)

As a member of the WWI Memorial Foundation, his bravery and honor during the war continues  and his last stand is to lobby for a WWI veterans memorial in Washington D.C. Surprisingly enough, and to many people’s dismay, there is no memorial for these brave soldiers. There is a memorial that is in dis-repair for the veterans of  of Washington D.C., but not for the rest of the 4 million. Buckles has been fighting for this memorial for years, and despite all his political recognition by senators and presidents alike, his dream is yet to be realized. As of 2006, Buckles was only one of seven veterans still alive from WWI and it is feared that without this man’s constant battle, this may never come to pass.

As historians, it is up to us to keep the memories of these soldiers alive. This war was meant to end all wars. Although it failed in that regard, whole generations were lost all over the world to fight this battle. Our cultures and our education were shaped by these men, not just in America. This war shaped continents. We must not let this man’s dream go unnoticed.

Consider the global impact of this war. India, Asia, the Balkans, Russia, Italy, America, Germany, Belgium, France, Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Mesopotamia, Serbia, Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, Ireland, Transylvania, Bucharest, Poland, the Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, just to name a few countries involved in this war.  Should these men go unnoticed; or forgotten and left by the wayside because they have passed away?

Particularly in the Southern United States, if you stopped the every-day citizen on the street and asked them the name of a General in the American Civil War, they would immediately say Robert E. Lee. If you asked that same person to name a general in WWI, they would not be able to name one so quickly. These veterans of World War One deserve the same respect and honor. Let us all stand along side Frank Buckles and see his dream come true before he is gone. He is our last American WWI Veteran. On this memorial day weekend especially, let us honor one man’s last stand.

sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/frank_buckles; http://www.frankbuckles.org; lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.01070

To help Mr. Buckles please visit his website at http://www.frankbuckles.org.

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May 23, 2009 - Posted by | History | , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. 😮 That’s amazing! I can’t believe there is only one World War I veteran still alive!

    Comment by Zaeriuraschi 11098 | May 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Yes and he is 109, that’s why things like this are so important. Thanks for your support!

      Comment by dmsmithblogger | May 24, 2009 | Reply

  2. Dear Friend!
    I have a new blog for modern and contemporary history – “Nikolaykotev`s blog” with URL http://nikolaykotev.wordpress.com. If you want, you can see it on this adress!
    Best wishes
    Nikolay Kotev

    Comment by nikolaykotev | May 24, 2009 | Reply

  3. digg this article at http://digg.com/world_news/One_Man_s_Last_Stand

    Comment by dmsmithblogger | May 24, 2009 | Reply


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