The Last Veteran

Of the nearly five million American veterans who served in World War I, only one remains, 109 year-old Frank Buckles of Virginia.

Buckles says he owes it to his fellow soldiers to make a national World War I memorial a reality

The World War I Memorial Foundation’s website is

Two of my great-grandfathers served in World War I as well as other family members. My Great-Grandpa Ervin is pictured above in his World War I uniform. He overcame great personal tragedy both before and after his service, but like so many others of his generation, he didn’t let anything keep him down.

It does seem strange that we don’t have an official memorial honoring his generation’s service. Twice as many Americans died in World War I than in Vietnam, and almost three times as many gave their lives than in Korea. It would be great to see them recognized while the last veteran of that conflict, Frank Buckles, is still alive.

Today is Veteran’s Day, and to better understand the magnitude of what these men and women have given their fellow Americans, I found some statistics showing how many veterans have been involved in each of our nation’s major conflicts:

The History Channel has an informative short video on the origins of Veterans Day:

Thank you, veterans, for standing up for your neighbors whether or not they support you. You defend the freedom of all Americans, not just the ones who say thanks, and you are appreciated for protecting all of us!


The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it. -Thucydides

©2010 H. Hiatt/ All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/

2 thoughts on “The Last Veteran

  1. There actually is a national United States World War I memorial and museum in Kansas, which was built in the years immediately following the Great War but before World War II. Here’s a link:

    What Frank Buckles is advocating is another memorial in Washington, DC which is certainly fitting. The entire Great War experience is largely overlooked in American education, being a footnote between the Civil War and the Great Depression/World War II. However, it set the foundation for all that followed, including the modern American military and creating the foundation of a society able to fully mobilize for victory.

    Before the Greatest Generation, there was the Most Gallant Generation.


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