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_______________________________pg.1 Last US veteran of WWI dies in W. Va. at age 110
By VICKI SMITH Associated Press The Associated Press
Monday, February 28, 2011 1:05 PM EST
Email Print Share This August 1917 file photo provided by the Buckles Family shows Frank Buckles'... (AP Photo/courtesy of the Buckles Family/file)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) ��" Frank Buckles enlisted for World War I at 16 after lying about his age. He made it home again and ultimately became that war's last surviving U.S. veteran, campaigning for greater recognition for his comrades-in-arms before dying at 110.
Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died of natural causes Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said. He was 110.
Buckles had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of the Great War in the nation's capital and asked about its progress weekly, sometimes daily.
"He was sad it's not completed," DeJonge said Monday. "It's a simple straightforward thing to do, to honor Americans."
When asked in February 2008 how it felt to be the last of his kind, he said simply, "I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me." And he told The Associated Press he would have done it all over again, "without a doubt."
On Nov. 11, 2008, the 90th anniversary of the end of the war, Buckles attended a ceremony at the grave of World War I Gen. John Pershing in Arlington National Cemetery.
He was back in Washington a year later to endorse a proposal to rededicate the existing World War I memorial on the National Mall as the official National World War I Memorial. He told a Senate panel it was "an excellent idea." The memorial was originally built to honor District of Columbia's war dead.
Born in Missouri in 1901 and raised in Oklahoma, Buckles visited a string of military recruiters after the United States entered the "war to end all wars" in April 1917. He was repeatedly rejected before convincing an Army captain he was 18. He was actually 16 1/2.
"A boy of (that age), he's not afraid of anything. He wants to get in there," Buckles said.
Details for services and arrangements will be announced later this week, but DeJonge said Buckles' daughter, Susannah Flanagan, is planning for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. In 2008, friends persuaded the federal government to make an exception to its rules and allow his burial there.
pg.2 Buckles had already been eligible to have his cremated remains housed at the cemetery. To be buried underground, however, he would have had to meet several criteria, including earning one of five medals, such as a Purple Heart.
Buckles never saw combat but joked, "Didn't I make every effort?"
"We have lost a living link to an important era in our nation's history," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. "But we have also lost a man of quiet dignity, who dedicated his final years to ensuring the sacrifices of his fellow 'Doughboys' are appropriately commemorated."
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller called Buckles "a wonderfully plainspoken man and an icon for the World War I generation" and said he will continue fighting for the memorial Buckles wanted.
"He lived a long and rich life as a true American patriot," said U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, "and I hope that his family's loss is lightened with the knowledge that he was loved and will be missed by so many."
The family asked that donations be made to the National World War One Legacy Project. The project is managed by the nonprofit Survivor Quest and will educate students about Buckles and WWI through a documentary and traveling educational exhibition.
More than 4.7 million people joined the U.S. military from 1917-18. As of spring 2007, only three were still alive, according to a tally by the Department of Veterans Affairs: Buckles, J. Russell Coffey of Ohio and Harry Richard Landis of Florida.
The dwindling roster prompted a flurry of public interest, and Buckles went to Washington in May 2007 to serve as grand marshal of the national Memorial Day parade.
Coffey died Dec. 20, 2007, at age 109, while Landis died Feb. 4, 2008, at 108. Unlike Buckles, those two men were still in basic training in the United States when the war ended and did not make it overseas.
The last known Canadian veteran of the war, John Bab**** of Spokane, Wash., died in February 2010.
There are no French or German veterans of the war left alive.
Buckles served in England and France, working mainly as a driver and a warehouse clerk. An eager student of culture and language, he used his off-duty hours to learn German, visit cathedrals, museums and tombs, and bicycle in the French countryside
pg.3 After Armistice Day, Buckles helped return prisoners of war to Germany. He returned to the United States in January 1920.
Buckles returned to Oklahoma for a while, then moved to Canada, where he worked a series of jobs before heading for New York City. There, he again took advantage of free museums, worked out at the YMCA, and landed jobs in banking and advertising.
But it was the shipping industry that suited him best, and he worked around the world for the White Star Line Steamship Co. and W.R. Grace & Co.
In 1941, while on business in the Philippines, Buckles was captured by the Japanese. He spent more than three years in prison camps.
"I was never actually looking for adventure," Buckles once said. "It just came to me."
He married in 1946 and moved to his farm in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle in 1954, where he and wife Audrey raised their daughter. Audrey Buckles died in 1999.
In spring 2007, Buckles told the AP of the trouble he went through to get into the military.
"I went to the state fair up in Wichita, Kansas, and while there, went to the recruiting station for the Marine Corps," he said. "The nice Marine sergeant said I was too young when I gave my age as 18, said I had to be 21."
Buckles returned a week later.
"I went back to the recruiting sergeant, and this time I was 21," he said with a grin. "I passed the inspection ... but he told me I just wasn't heavy enough."
Then he tried the Navy, whose recruiter told Buckles he was flat-footed.
Buckles wouldn't quit. In Oklahoma City, an Army captain demanded a birth certificate.
"I told him birth certificates were not made in Missouri when I was born, that the record was in a family Bible. I said, 'You don't want me to bring the family Bible down, do you?'" Buckles said with a laugh. "He said, 'OK, we'll take you.'"
He enlisted Aug. 14, 1917, serial number 15577
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Adam Hillbrand is a veteran Health Headlines writer specializing in sports nutrition. His professional interests include writing about healthy living, marketing strategy, consumer psychology, and technology. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and is an avid Boston sports fan. In his spare time, he loves to cook and travel. He also enjoys working out and spending as much time as possible outside.
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The Numerology of 10-10-10
October 10, 2010 has a distinctive number sequence. There is the fact that the number 10 is represented three times, and that only three different digits appear: the 0, the 1 and the 2. There are also noteworthy "coincidences" among the hidden numbers. For example, the 0 and the 2 dominate what we refer to as Challenges -- numbers whose presence denotes obstacles and difficulties we have to overcome in order to grow and move forward.
If we do a Karmic table, we notice that all numbers 3 and higher are missing, and that the number 1 is by far the most represented (the 0 doesn't count in a Karmic table). Finally, the Universal cycles are 3 (for the year), 4 (for the month) and 5 (for the day). All of this tells us that the Universal cycles for 10-10-10 are aligned in a way that their influences are more or less bundled -- like a spotlight as opposed to a regular light bulb -- and therefore will be more effective and specific. The question, of course, is what kind of effect they will have on our lives.
A Universal cycle
Since Universal cycles are, by definition, universal, their effect is global and therefore less felt by each individual. First we look at the Universal Day cycle for 10-10-10, which is 5: chaotic, dynamic and causing unexpected changes and events. A 5 day always brings surprises. Offsetting this to some extent is the disciplined and steadfast 4 Universal Month cycle -- but while this tends to put the brakes on the hectic 5, it also represents two directly opposing forces, so tension is high and conflict is certainly possible. The effect of the 3 Universal Year cycle is minimal, but does bring some communicative powers into play, which should be a good thing.
While these Universal cycles are important, what really sets this day apart is its multitude of 1s. Aggressive, confrontational, driven and strong-minded, the global energy for this day could be somewhat explosive. Add to that the fact that the 1 appears twice as a challenge or obstacle, and we can expect some troubles -- mainly in the form of unnecessary provocations and confrontations, hopefully more in the form of political bravado and grandstanding, and not in actual blood and bullets confrontations (although that can't be ruled out). Bloated egos with little or no common sense will unfortunately have the day. On October 10, we can expect some truly nasty examples of egotism.
What is more troubling is that the first two decades of this millennium have a disproportionate number of days dominated by the 0, 1 and 2. Not the least of which is 12-21-2012, a date that, from a numerological perspective, sets a record as far as conflicting and directly opposing energies. I look at it as a kind of eclipse of the cycles when they are aligned so precisely they block the light. The high number of dates containing only the digits 1 and 2 is just another example of the inter-connectedness of everything, and symbolizes a time when it appears all of humanity is moving toward more extreme and distilled energies of good and bad. Simply put, the good gets better and the bad gets worse.
By any measure, the most important lesson we can learn from looking at these numbers is that those global growing pains mirror what takes place inside of each and every individual, whether consciously or not, because such is the nature of our reality; the outside mirrors the inside and vice versa (although recognizing the commonalities and understanding them may be close to impossible). It is my view that the struggles we see in the world around us are not all that different from our own. We fight wars inside of us all the time, we live with opposing forces within us and that seems to be our natural state of mind. Come to think of it, even the movements of particles depend on opposing forces, as do the stars and the galaxies. Pretty amazing, especially considering that what we aim for is what appears to be the exact opposite: peace.
So, can peace exist in an environment of opposing forces? As someone I greatly admire points out, the only way for this world to attain a true state of peace is when we, each and every one of us, find peace within ourselves. Perhaps that means living on a planet where opposing forces exist in a state of balance and acceptance, or call it love and tolerance, whether globally or within ourselves individually. It's just like the aforementioned eclipse, but instead of blocking the light, it allows it to pass through to smack into your now fully-awakened consciousness.
Now look way beyond October! Find insight for the next 12 months with a free, personalized 1-Year Numerology Forecast sample.
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