Light up DC's Switchboard! Call, fax, email, if you're local WALK IN, if you're not MAIL A LETTER! Frank W. Buckles has EARNED the honor of the Rotunda by being the last WWI Veteran we will ever have.
Frank W. Buckles passed away 27 Feb 2011 at the age of 110. He was America's LAST WWI Veteran. We have no others, we will never have another. We must do this right, and do it now, or we slip even more deeply into a lack of respect and honor for those in the service.
Mr. Buckles should Lie In State in the Capitol Rotunda in DC. This honor is not for him, it is for the 4.7 million Americans he represents. It is for the entire generation that fought the Great War. We have lain men who send boys off to die in the Rotunda, but according to Speaker of the House Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the last man standing to have survived that war has earned no honors.
Frank Woodruff Buckles was born in 1901. He lied to enlist to serve his nation. He would go on to be a civilian Prisoner of War of the Japanese in the Philippines in WWII. He saw the horrors of the battlefields of France as an Ambulance driver. He spent several years after WWI helping to repatriate German POWs. He suffered years of starvation and deprivation at the hands of one of America's most brutal enemies. He asked NOTHING for himself in return for those services, that suffering. He has more than earned the honor of being remembered, as have all his brothers & sisters in arms.
To add insult to injury, the DOD has REFUSED to provide an Honor Guard to Mr. Buckles' body if anything happens outside of Arlington. He only got the 'right' to rest in Arlington because President Bush ordered it so in 2006. This is NO way to treat a veteran, let alone the last of his brothers in arms. A 2 star general has claimed it is not cost effective to send an Honor Guard across the Potomac river to guard the body of the last Doughboy. Even now the DOD is fighting to prevent Mr. Buckles' use of the amphitheater in Arlington which is within earshot & sight of the Tomb of the Unknowns which houses the remains of a solider who also fought WWI.
This is not about politics, this is not about party affiliation. This is not about which branch is better. This is about honoring a generation through their last known survivor. Even now WWI has NO federal memorial, just a dilapidated run down hulk in DC that's purely a city memorial. We CAN and SHOULD do better. Mr. Buckles never asked for anything for himself, but he spent his last years fighting to get the veterans of WWI recognized and remembered. Let's not fail him in death as we so pitifully did in life.
We have laid the likes of Rosa Parks in the Capitol Rotunda. The Unknown Soldier of WWI laid in the Rotunda. Teddy Kennedy, a lying whoremonger alcoholic Laid In State. Congress even exhumed Pierre L'Enfant, architect of Washington DC over 100 years AFTER his death, and laid him in the Rotunda but according to two stubborn old men who have not served one day in the uniform of their country Mr. Buckles (and every veteran he represents) is not "entitled" (yes, that is the word they chose to use) to such remembrance. Neither Reid nor Boehner has served their nation, but they've sent you all off to fight wars in their names while they stayed comfy at home in DC. They've never seen combat, they've never had to leave their families for months or years on end to be shot at, to live in sand and dense jungle, to sweat and bleed for those back home. These are the likes of the 2 men blocking the honoring of the last WWI Veteran.
Britain is the sole country to have survivors of the Great War, and they only have 2 - 1 in the UK (a 109 year old woman) and 1 in Australia (a 110 year old man). France has none, Russia has none, Poland has none, every other country party to War to End All Wars has none and now, we have but the shell of the last. France honored their last with their own version of a Lying In State, as did Russia, and every other combatant nation to have fought WWI. Surely Mr. Buckles' body deserves to be draped in the flag he fought for, the flag of the nation he suffered for, the flag of the nation he honored to his last breath. Surely we as a nation can send representatives of our military services to stand guard over that flag draped coffin, and beyond a shadow of a doubt that coffin deserves to lie in the polished marble halls of the capital of the nation.
As Texans we pride ourselves on honor, duty, respect to our elders, respect to our military, and doing things the old fashioned way - with love and care. We have the most military members (either born or settled) of any state in the nation who call us home. Its time to act like we remember where our backbone is and demand that the nation gets the chance to honor their own.
It is time that the so-called servants of the people, answer to the will of the people. I'm not asking for your money, I'm asking for your voice. I am asking for your time, just a few precious minutes, to do the right thing for our elder.
Please, if you support it or don't, call / email / fax. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!