Honoring Frank Buckles and America's World War I veterans

On June 26,1917, 14,000 American soldiers landed at the Eastern French port of Saint-Nazaire, marking the United States' entry into World War I.  By the war's end on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, over 100,000 Americans would make the ultimate sacrifice.  As we approach the 100th anniversary of the United States' involvement in World War I, our nation has failed to honor the memory of the nearly five million American men and women who served their nation during the Great War, and the over 53,000 who were killed in action in Europe.

Currently, there is  no national World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C., and after his passing at the age of 110 in 2011, America's last World War I Veteran, Frank Buckles, was denied the honor of having his body lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda by congressional leaders, in what many considered to be a low moment in our nation's history.  A farm boy, Buckles volunteered to serve his nation in France at the age of 16 and drove ambulances on the front lines of France.  Buckles would spend the latter part of his life on his family farm in Charles Town, W.V.

As Americans reflect upon the centennial of World War I, it is time for congressional leaders to acknowledge Frank Buckles's service (a Congressional Gold Medal would not be out of order) and for West Virginia lawmakers to erect a statue of Buckles on the grounds of the West Virginia capitol in Charleston.

On June 26,1917, 14,000 American soldiers landed at the Eastern French port of Saint-Nazaire, marking the United States' entry into World War I.  By the war's end on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, over 100,000 Americans would make the ultimate sacrifice.  As we approach the 100th anniversary of the United States' involvement in World War I, our nation has failed to honor the memory of the nearly five million American men and women who served their nation during the Great War, and the over 53,000 who were killed in action in Europe.

Currently, there is  no national World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C., and after his passing at the age of 110 in 2011, America's last World War I Veteran, Frank Buckles, was denied the honor of having his body lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda by congressional leaders, in what many considered to be a low moment in our nation's history.  A farm boy, Buckles volunteered to serve his nation in France at the age of 16 and drove ambulances on the front lines of France.  Buckles would spend the latter part of his life on his family farm in Charles Town, W.V.

As Americans reflect upon the centennial of World War I, it is time for congressional leaders to acknowledge Frank Buckles's service (a Congressional Gold Medal would not be out of order) and for West Virginia lawmakers to erect a statue of Buckles on the grounds of the West Virginia capitol in Charleston.

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