Last World War I Vet Calls for National Memorial

Monday, May 25, 2009
Frank Buckles

More Americans died in World War I than in Korea or Vietnam, but unlike those conflicts, whose participants have been honored in the nation’s capital, the veterans of the “war to end all wars” have yet to get their memorial. On the National Mall in Washington, DC, there stand memorials to those who served in the Second World War, Korea and Vietnam. Meanwhile, the more than 4.7 million Americans who fought in WWI go forgotten, including the 116,561 soldiers who died.

Frank Buckles is trying to change that, along with the World War I Memorial Foundation. Buckles is the last surviving U.S. WWI veteran, and despite his age of 108, he is serving as the face of the foundation’s campaign to get Washington to finally honor the United States’ veterans of the “Great War.” The only memorial that does exist in DC is the one dedicated in 1931 to the local residents who lost their lives in the conflict. That memorial is reportedly in need of repair.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Frank Woodruff Buckles (Experiencing War, Stories from the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress)


quenten l yoder 15 years ago
When we think of world wars our minds almost always think of WW II. But when you think about it WW II pretty mich left the world the same. All the combatants recovered and geopolitical boundarys staid the same. World WWI, however, changed the landscape.
Andrew Silver 15 years ago
A graduate of Public Schools I was barley taught anything about World War 1, all we saw was endless lectures about the Civil War, Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion, (Which is dull even for me, a former history major). Sadly, folks my age know very little about the Great War
Bruce Thielen 15 years ago
There is a terrific WWI memorial and museum in Kansas City, MO, aka the Liberty Memorial. Dedicated on November 11, 1926, it is a fine educational experience while paying tribute to our soldiers. See the website for more information.

Leave a comment