This weekend, Frank W. Buckles, traveled to Arlington National Cemetery for a ceremony honoring his service in World War I. Buckles, 106 years old, is one of just three known surviving World War I veterans. Asked about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Buckles told the Washington Post, “I’m no authority, but I’m not in favor of war unless it’s an emergency.”
From the Washington Post…
One by one, members of the small crowd on a hilltop at Arlington National Cemetery approached the man who had beaten all the odds.
Some saluted him. Others shook his hand, had their pictures taken with him or patted him on the back, as if touching one of the last surviving veterans of World War I would be like touching history itself.
Frank W. Buckles, 106, knows the feeling. Having lived through the Great War and imprisonment in a Japanese camp in the Philippines during World War II, Buckles said his most vivid memory from those years was meeting Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing after World War I.
“He noted that we both had the same Missouri accent,” Buckles recalled with a laugh. Buckles told the general that he had been raised near Bethany, Mo., and the general replied: “That’s 40 miles as the crow flies from where I was born.”
Yesterday, Buckles’s service was honored in a Veterans Day ceremony to remember Pershing, who commanded U.S. forces in World War I. The ceremony at Pershing’s grave, organized by the Military Order of the World Wars, was one of several in the area as crowds converged on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and smaller groups gathered at various statues and memorials.
More on Buckles here…