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Last Doughboy’s Burial Marks End of Era
American Forces Press Service ^ | 03/15/2011 | Donna Miles

Posted on 03/15/2011 3:51:13 PM PDT by AnyStreetFL

ARLINGTON, Va., March 15, 2011 – America recognized the end of an era today as it bade a solemn farewell to Army Cpl. Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving U.S. World War I veteran, as he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery here with full military honors.




A soldier with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard,” keeps a constant vigil over the casket of Army Cpl. Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last U.S. World War I veteran, as he laid in repose before his burial today at Arlington National Cemetery. A gold-leafed “Winged Victory” figure presented to President Warren G. Harding when the unknown soldier of World War I was buried at Arlington on Nov. 11, 1921 watches over Buckles’ casket. DoD photo by Donna Miles

President Barack Obama paid tribute to Buckles this afternoon as he lay in repose in the chapel beneath Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater stage. Buckles died Feb. 27 at age 110.

Obama was the last of a long line of mourners who began filing past his flag-draped casket early this morning to pay their last respects to Buckles, and a whole generation of combat veterans he came to represent.

The visitors paused in quiet reflection within the stark grandeur of the white-marble chapel. Its most striking adornment is a gold-leaf “Winged Victory” figure the Chinese government presented to President Warren G. Harding when the unknown soldier of World War I was buried at Arlington on Nov. 11, 1921. Today that figure, along with a single soldier from the 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard,” kept a constant vigil over the last “doughboy” to serve in World War I.

As they streamed from the chapel, the mourners – a mix of families, school groups, veterans, even a Canadian air cadet group – said they were honored to be able to say a final goodbye to a generation of American heroes.

“I felt like it was my duty as an American to come here and give him my respects,” said Ray King, who took time during a family trip here from Houston to pay homage to Buckles. “It’s because of him, and those he served with, that we have the freedoms we have today.”

King’s wife, Marilyn, said she felt privileged to be able to personally honor Buckles and those who served alongside him in World War I. “What we are doing here today is a statement, and to be able to be part of it is just awesome,” she said. “We will carry this home in our hearts, and it is going to change us. I don’t think we will go back to Texas the same way.”

At 4 p.m. this afternoon, members of The Old Guard transferred Buckles’ casket to a horse-drawn caisson and made the slow, solemn trek to his final resting place.

The soldiers, too, recognized the significance of Buckles’ passing.

“What we are seeing here is history,” said Army Spc. Athiambo Onyango, who supported today’s funeral activities. “To me, this feels like the passing of an era.”

Although he’s participated in more funerals than he can count – Arlington typically conducts more than two dozen every weekday -- Onyango said he felt particularly honored to be a part of Buckles’. “I think this is probably one of the most important ceremonies I’ve been in,” he said, holding it right up with Obama’s inauguration as an experience he’ll never forget.

Army Sgt. 1st Class William Cramer, another Old Guard soldier, said he, too, felt honored to render honors to Buckles and the whole lineage of World War I doughboys he came to symbolize.

“But this is not just about Mr. Buckles,” Cramer said. “It’s also about what he represents … This is the end of that lineage for that generation, a recognition of everyone who stepped forward and volunteered… and a way to thank them for their sacrifices.”

After brief remarks at Buckles’ gravesite, an Old Guard firing party fired three rifle volleys and a U.S. Army Band bugler sent the wail of “Taps” across the burial grounds. Buckles was laid to rest in Arlington’s Section 34, slightly down the hill and within view of Army Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing’s gravesite, and site of Arlington’s World War I National Memorial that bears Pershing’s words.

“You are remembered,” it says, recognizing 116,516 Americans killed in World War I. “Their devotion, their valor and their sacrifice will live forever in the hearts of their grateful countrymen.”

Pershing commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I -- the “War to End all Wars” -- that 16-year-old Buckles quit school with dreams of becoming a part of. After lying about his age to one recruiter after another, he finally hoodwinked one into enlisting him into the Army in August 1917.

The United States had entered World War I just four months earlier, and Buckles was among fewer than 422,000 soldiers at the time. But within a year, he watched the Army swell to 2.4 million, most of it serving in the American Expeditionary Force.

Buckles deployed to the Western Front, driving an ambulance in France and Germany and earning the rank of corporal before his discharge in 1920.

As he lived out his later years in West Virginia, Buckles worked tirelessly to ensure the sacrifices made during World War I never be forgotten. One of his pet projects was a campaign to refurbish a little-known memorial to World War I veterans from the District of Columbia and rededicate it as a national memorial.

In 2008, on the death of 108-year-old Harry Richard Landis, Buckles became the sole living link to more than 4.7 million Americans who served in that war.

It’s a role he embraced, visiting the Pentagon at age 107 for the unveiling of a World War I veterans’ exhibit. “Whoever views this display will, I am sure, feel a connection to Mr. Buckles and his comrades-in-arms,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said during that presentation. “We will always be grateful for what they did for their country 90 years ago.”


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: arlington; frankbuckles; godsgravesglyphs; hero; wwi

1 posted on 03/15/2011 3:51:17 PM PDT by AnyStreetFL
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To: seekthetruth; trooprally; Jim Robinson

...


2 posted on 03/15/2011 3:52:38 PM PDT by AnyStreetFL (www.AnyStreet.org - Conservative Community Organizing, ACORN without the evil)
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Thanks AnyStreetFL.
In 2008, on the death of 108-year-old Harry Richard Landis, Buckles became the sole living link to more than 4.7 million Americans who served in that war. It's a role he embraced, visiting the Pentagon at age 107 for the unveiling of a World War I veterans' exhibit.
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3 posted on 03/15/2011 4:08:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: AnyStreetFL

And we’re loosing WWII vets at an alarming rate.


4 posted on 03/15/2011 4:08:44 PM PDT by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
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To: AnyStreetFL

My Grandfather on my father’s side fought at the Argonne in WWI. When my Dad died, we had him buried within site of the Argonne Cross [memorial to those who fought at the Argonne] in the back of Arlington ...


5 posted on 03/15/2011 4:11:10 PM PDT by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...</i><p>)
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To: AnyStreetFL

“Last Doughboy’s Burial Marks End of Era”

Yes it is.

When I was a kid, my great-uncle showed up at family events. He was a World War I vet and he told us kids stories about war in the trenches. He’d show us his missing two front teeth that were knocked out when he was a professional football player back in the 1920s.

What a character.

Hand salute, Cpl. Buckles, last doughboy.


6 posted on 03/15/2011 4:13:02 PM PDT by sergeantdave (The democrat party is a seditious organization and must be outlawed)
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To: AnyStreetFL

He is at parade rest, along side his brothers at last.


7 posted on 03/15/2011 4:14:54 PM PDT by llevrok (SEIU? STFU.)
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To: Lmo56

I think I read that Buckles worked as a telegrapher for a shipping company. He was working in Manila and when the Japanese invaded. He was interned and spent WW2 as a Prisoner there.


8 posted on 03/15/2011 4:15:54 PM PDT by Ax
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To: AnyStreetFL

Thanks for the post. An era has pasted.

[Mr] T


9 posted on 03/15/2011 4:22:32 PM PDT by trooprally (Never Give Up - Never Give In - Remember Our Troops)
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To: AnyStreetFL

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
‘Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

*Slow, silent hand salute given to the last of his kind*
SFC/US Army (Ret.)


10 posted on 03/15/2011 4:39:48 PM PDT by NCDragon (If you can't stand behind the troops, try standing in front of them!)
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To: AnyStreetFL

R.I.P. hero.


11 posted on 03/15/2011 4:56:27 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: AnyStreetFL

“Resting” in Arlington, buried in TRUE Americans hearts. R.I.P. Mr. Buckles & thanks for a job well done.


12 posted on 03/15/2011 5:04:52 PM PDT by Fighter@heart (Ask The American Indian how ignoring immigration worked out for them!!! WAKE UP!!)
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To: AnyStreetFL

It is just amazing how the world has changed since WWI.


13 posted on 03/15/2011 5:15:03 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: ReverendJames

And the Vietnam vets now look like the WWII vets of my youth.


14 posted on 03/15/2011 5:20:53 PM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: AnyStreetFL

I can’t believe the Westboro church buttwipes weren’t there.

Perhaps they understood that old, bold patriots would beat the poop out of them.


15 posted on 03/15/2011 5:21:00 PM PDT by chooseascreennamepat (I have a liberal arts degree, do you want fries with that?)
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To: AnyStreetFL
A station here in Phoenix plays old M*A*S*H shows at 10 and 10:30 PM daily. I found it prophetic that the 10:30 show last night was Col. Potter had a Tontine from his buddies in WW1. He was the last living member of his company. I wonder if this was on purpose?

from Wikipedia
Tontine: A tontine is a scheme for raising capital which combines features of a group annuity and a lottery. Each member in the group puts an agreed upon sum into a pot, and upon the death of every other member, the last person remaining collects the pot.

In this case the ‘pot’ was a bottle of Brandy.

A very touching show!

16 posted on 03/15/2011 5:33:43 PM PDT by chooseascreennamepat (I have a liberal arts degree, do you want fries with that?)
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To: Fighter@heart
Dittos. We must always remember and never forget the loyalty, honor and integrity of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.

Never truly understood WW1 until my family visited Flanders Fields near Ypres, Belgium. That war was unbelievably horrific. Today's consequence of a war started by Germany is an apathetic Europe rapidly falling victim to Islam's strategic "cultural jihad". Our insular Pax Americana policy is worthless against internal subterfuge.

Sgt. Buckles and millions of other patriots answered their call to serve. I weep as America cluelessly follows Obama into Europe's hell.

17 posted on 03/15/2011 5:40:01 PM PDT by Broker (Mabuhay!)
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To: Clemenza

Yeah, I guess I’m one those suddenly old Vietnam vets. Got heart surgery coming up to prove it. Thank G-d I have a new wife to see me through.

My grandfather was WW1. My Dad was WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Had some tough acts to follow.

But the veterans who will live to die of old age always need to be there to salute the young war dead of our current conflicts. I was blessed to see them, the young soldiers in theater in 2003 (retired in January).

What’s left? Only, pray for this nation.


18 posted on 03/15/2011 5:48:07 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("All gave some. Some gave all.")
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To: AnyStreetFL
I dislike the president.

But he did well by paying his respects.

19 posted on 03/15/2011 5:55:25 PM PDT by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: starlifter

Me too. He could have done worse (probably did) but he did something.


20 posted on 03/15/2011 6:00:58 PM PDT by nomorelurker
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To: Ax

He lived near me here in WV. And yes, he not only was in WWI (lied about his age to enlist at 14), but spent 2 1/2 years as a Jap prisoner (civilian) during WWII. Entire congressional delegation from here (rats and pubbies) tried to have him lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda but Boner (sp. on purpose) quashed it for some reason.


21 posted on 03/15/2011 6:10:49 PM PDT by conservaterian (Sarah/DeMint '12)
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To: elcid1970

Amen. :)


22 posted on 03/15/2011 8:14:29 PM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Broker

“Today’s consequence of a war started by Germany is an apathetic Europe rapidly falling victim to Islam’s strategic “cultural jihad”.”

Germany had the least to gain by that war, and nothing to do with starting it. An alliance system caused Russia to support Serbia when Austri-Hungary declared war against them, which caused Germany to support Austria-Hungary in response to Russia’s actions. As France had to support Russia, Germany had to attack them (violating Belgium’s neutrality); this brought England into the war. Serbia and Austria-Hungary started the war; both had a lot to gain. Serbia gained a lot of territory awarded by the Allies until those same allies decided 75 years later that they had to give it up; the American bombing of Belgrade was just a continuation of the events of the summer of 1914 - this time supporting Muslims (Bosnians and Albanians) against the Christians who had held them back for centuries.


23 posted on 03/15/2011 9:31:58 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: Broker

” Today’s consequence of a war started by Germany... “

More like Austro-Hungary. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo was the spark that ignited the war. No one remembers the Dual Monarchy anymore because it was dismembered at the close of the war. Germany was their ally.


24 posted on 03/15/2011 10:01:23 PM PDT by Pelham (California, formerly part of the USA)
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To: Broker
How did Germany start the war?
A Serb intel-run terrorist group assassinates the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria-Hungary blames Serbia and demands Serb concessions. Serbia refuses asking the Slavophile halfwite Nicky II of Russia for help. Russia supports Serbia. Germany backs Austria-Hungary. Revanchist France supports Russia and Serbia.

Russia backed Serbia to the hilt and mobilized against Germany and Austria-Hungary before either mobilized against Russia.
Germany's fault? Try the delusional half-wits in Russia and Serbia who sought war for a Slavic Empire.
25 posted on 03/16/2011 12:44:06 AM PDT by rmlew (You want change? Vote for the most conservative electable in your state or district.)
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To: AnyStreetFL
"Buckles deployed to the Western Front, driving an ambulance in France and Germany and earning the rank of corporal before his discharge in 1920."

Same job as Hemmingway in WWI. Only Hemmingway was in Italy as I recall.
26 posted on 03/16/2011 4:32:47 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: chooseascreennamepat
I can’t believe the Westboro church buttwipes weren’t there. Perhaps they understood that old, bold patriots would beat the poop out of them.

I think they were fully aware of the risks they were going to face about this funeral service.
27 posted on 03/16/2011 7:19:05 AM PDT by AnyStreetFL (www.AnyStreet.org - Conservative Community Organizing, ACORN without the evil)
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To: AnyStreetFL

May bands of angels take him to his rest.


28 posted on 03/16/2011 8:16:18 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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