Entries in Frank Buckles (3)


Obama Attends Funeral for Last WWI Vet

Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images(ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va.) -- President Obama traveled across the Potomac to see Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of World War I, laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. Buckles died at the age of 110 at his home in Charlestown, W. Va. in February.

The unexpected visit by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden was kept secret until they arrived the cemetery.

Before burial, Buckles, a former Army corporal, lay in repose in a flag-strewn casket in the Memorial Chapel at Arlington. A slow stream of mourners filed through to pay their respects. A soldier stood guard at Buckles' casket throughout.

A congressional scuffle of sorts broke out earlier this month over how to honor Buckles and the 4.7 million American veterans who served in the war. Susannah Flanagan, Buckles' daughter, wanted her father to lie in repose in the U.S. Capitol rotunda to represent all American veterans of the war, but Congress did not muster support.

President Obama ordered flags be flown at half-staff on the day of Buckles' burial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Last WWI Vet to Lie In Honor at Arlington National Cemetery

Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep.  Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced Friday that the last WWI veteran - Frank Buckles - will lie in honor at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, March 15.

“I am pleased to welcome West Virginians to Washington, D.C. to pay their final tributes to Frank Buckles, the last surviving U.S. World War I Veteran, who passed away last month. Although I am disappointed that Frank will not lie in honor in the Capitol, it is fitting that he will lie in honor at Arlington National Cemetery, surrounded by fallen soldiers and American war heroes,” Capito said Friday.

Capito introduced legislation along with West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefelller - to allow Buckles to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, but Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid denied the effort and instead suggested a memorial service at Arlington.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Last American WWI Veteran, Frank Buckles, Dies at 110

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Frank Buckles, America's last living veteran of World War I, died on Sunday. He was 110.

Buckles passed away Sunday at his West Virginia farm, where he lived out the last half-century of his life in relative obscurity until a Pentagon ceremony in March 2008 honored him as the last living veteran to have served in the U.S. military during World War I.

As a 16-year-old Missouri farm boy, Buckles wanted to volunteer for the fight in Europe, but had been turned down by both the Marines and the Navy because he was too young. But he hoodwinked an Army recruiter into believing he was older than he was and he was sent to Europe.

"You lied to get into the Army?" reporters once asked him. "I didn't lie!" he said. "Nobody calls me a liar; I may have increased my age."

As an Army corporal he drove ambulances in the United Kingdom and France. After the armistice, he guarded German POWs and assisted with their transfer back to Germany.

After the war, Buckles would go on to sail the world as a ship's purser before making a fateful decision to take a steady job in the Philippines in 1941. It was there that he was captured by the Japanese and endured 39 months in a notorious Japanese POW camp from which few would emerge.

In his last years Buckles' newfound celebrity saw him heralded as America's last tangible tie to a war that saw nearly five million men take up the uniform to fight. He would even be received in the Oval Office by President George W. Bush.

On Monday, President Obama issued a statement on Buckles' passing, noting that "Frank Buckles lived the American Century."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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