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Travesty (UPDATED)

Locutisprime is a guest blogger at my place over at Brutally Honest but he's also got his own blog at The Borg Conspiracy.  He's a retired marine with a passion for the military, a passion that comes through in his latest piece at his place:

The bottom line, you only get one chance in life to do the right thing and John Boehner and Harry Reid are going against the will of tens of thousands and millions of Americans who want to see Frank Buckles honored as he should be.

When the last French WWI veteran Lazare Ponticelli passed in March of 2008, the French government gave him a 'state funeral' with full military honors. President Sarchozy led the procession and attended.

When Britain's last WWI veteran Harry Patch passed in July of 2009, he was given the honors of final services at Westminister Abby, where the Queen and the Prime Minister were in attendance. And yet America cannot do the same for Pershing's last patriot? Our last Dough Boy is to be buried with less than the full honors that this country can bestow? The last living symbol of an age of American greatness is to be denied this honor and relegated to a cloistered ceremony outside of the eyes and the ear shot of the nation that he served and loved?

I believe we as Americans can do better than that. I believe that we as Americans can honor our last Dough Boy, at least to the same level of honor as his comrades in arms who were honored by the French and the British governments on their passing.

I have created a memorial page titled
"Honor Frank Buckles Last WWI Veteran" on FaceBook. I am seeking FaceBook members to join the page and to become a rising army of activist. Americans who will become part of the ground swell of citizens seeking to have John Boehner's and Harry Reid's unconscionable decision to deny Frank Buckles and the American people their honor reversed.

I am requesting that everyone send emails to their representatives and congressmen, (beginning today) and to speaker Boehner and majority leader Reid. In addition, I am asking that everyone who is as concerned about this travesty as I am, to send emails to the
White House, requesting the president of the United States to intercede. (I already have).

We as Americans need to stand up for Frank Buckles and the memory of the 4.7 million that he represents. I am hoping that this message can get the widest possible coverage and dissemination across the internet, in social networking sites and blogs. We only have ten days. Frank's services are scheduled at Arlington for the 15th of March.

I think it a travesty frankly that other nations have honored their last and we can't seem to do the same.

Perhaps an army of Davids can turn this around.

UPDATE: Locutisprime has sent Obama a letter this morning.  Long shot for sure but what the heck, the cause is worthy.  I frankly don't see this President stepping in however.


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Comments (30)

Oh, manufactured outrage. ... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

Oh, manufactured outrage. The old fellow didn't even get into combat. He is no different from thousands and thousands of others; except that he lived for a very long time.
Like so many he served faithfully, survived, and left the service. Doesn't meet the criteria.


My Uncle enlisted at 17, was in the Rainbow Division, (McArthur's) fought until the end, came home with lungs damaged by gas. Got out, and lived to 80. He wasn't eligible either.

So what?

It is hard to get men, who ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It is hard to get men, who think that sacrifice is flying commercial rather than military charter, to honor a man who truly sacrificed for his country.

Oldflyer,Sorry tha... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Oldflyer,

Sorry that Mr Buckles failed to give his life for his country as that appears to be the only thing which you would find honorable.

The issue is that his passing marks the end of a era. None remain that donned the uniform to fight for freedom in WWI. Regardless of his feats of valor his death is significant and should cause a nation to pause and reflect on the values his service and that of his fellow soldiers represents.

I don't know if it is possi... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I don't know if it is possible to give enough thanks to and for those who have stood ready to or have given their lifes in the defense of this country. Unfortunately, I must take what will be an unpopular stance that I cannot understand why this particular gentleman deserves an honor not bestowed on countless others simply because he was blessed by happenstance to live a long life. In my mind I am not diminishing this man's service by feeling this way. Others will disagree I guess.

As I said above it is not h... (Below threshold)
jim m:

As I said above it is not him, but what he represents that people seek to honor,

He is the last Solider of W... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

He is the last Solider of WWI. When you wear the Uniform your are told that it presents US of A, The US military and your Branch of service. You are told not to do anything to dishonor it. Our Soldiers,Sailors and Marines acquitted themselves with Honor in WWi. At first the French and the British wanted us to just be auxiliary troops. Feeling American were too green to fight. Well the Corps showed them at Bealleau Wood we could not only fight but strike fair in the hearts of experienced Germans.

Since we did not give the last combat vet the Honor we can give to the last WWI vet and in 30 years to the last WWII vet and after that to the last Korean War. It is the Honorable thing to do.

Well, hell. If M. Larry Law... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Well, hell. If M. Larry Lawrence gets to lay in Arlington for a year to honor campaign contributions he gave to Bill Clinton, it seems that Frank Buckles should get honors for whatever military service he actually gave.


http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/abuse36.htm

I'm not bothered either. I ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

I'm not bothered either. I don't have anything against him, unless we are going to start having state funerals every time a veteran passes, I don't see any reason why we need to hold one for him. We honor the service of all our veterans, but we manage to do it without giving each and every one of them a state funeral.

Let's save the extraordinary honor of a state funeral for those veterans who truly did something extraordinary.

Oh, by all means, let's bur... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Oh, by all means, let's bury Teddy 'the swimmer' Kennedy in Arlington and screw over the memory of all our WWI vets and by extension all our war vets.

After all Teddy did extraordinary things like renting out a brothel all to himself, Chappaquiddick, offering to betray his country to the Soviets...

Yeah you guys have your priorities straight. Shame on you.

"The US Fish & Wildlife Ser... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued a report Wednesday that concludes the eastern cougar, also known as the catamount, no longer exists."

I've read more in the paper this week about when the last of the catamount died than I have about the last of the U.S. veterans of WWI dying. It doesn't matter to me whether or not the man saw action. He served, and served honorably. He was the last of our veterans of WWI. His passing needs to be recognized as a final, thankful and loving tribute to him and all his brother-in-arms that passed before him.

Sorry, thats... needs to be... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Sorry, thats... needs to be recognized with a final, thankful and loving tribute to him and all this brothers-in-arms who passed before him.

FOAD Oldflyer.You ... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

FOAD Oldflyer.

You and your attitude rank right up there with jim x, hyperbole, and the other libtard sphincters.

He's the last of a great generation and this country may not see the likes of those again. You are living proof of it.

He joined the army at 16. ... (Below threshold)
Hcddbz:

He joined the army at 16. He lied about his age so he could serve. In WWII he served 3 years in a POW camp in the Philippines.
Duty Honor Country

Well, what's the precedent?... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Well, what's the precedent? Did we have such ceremonies at the Capital for the last survivors of the Revolution, or the War of 1812, or the Civil War, or the Spanish-American War?

It was a long time ago, but... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

It was a long time ago, but yes - a great deal of attention was paid when the last Civil War Veteran died. There was also a book and quite a bit of coverage about the last Confederate widow who finally passed.

Well, by all means, lets ju... (Below threshold)
Chip:

Well, by all means, lets just forget this guy, since it was so long ago and he didn't really do anything and lets just plaster the likes of Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan, and Paris Hilton all over front page news for days, weeks, months and years on end.

Really great priorities we've developed in this country. /sarc

I reckon I shouldn't be sur... (Below threshold)
fastfreefall:

I reckon I shouldn't be surprised at how many folks miss the point that it's not about Mr Buckles,but rather about the generation he represents. The last of our WWI Doughboys passing should be widely acknowledged to remind folks that our exceptionalism was founded on previous generations that faced some mighty dark times of their own and they overcame them while helping other nations overcome their own.

A Canadian view and with fe... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

A Canadian view and with feeling.

Seems like this is not too much to expect in a nation that had a quite short exposure to the soldiers' horrors of WW1...yet sacrificed so significantly. 'Old effer' at # 1, might want to consider that Frank Buckles at 110 yrs could not have been more than 17 by Armistice Day 11.11.1918, and not influential enough to get himself to the front...he also could not have been influential enough to keep himself away from it. 'Old effer', whose uncle gave more, seems to look at things with a more jaundiced eye, but why God only can know, since Frank Buckles is the last of many such uncles and is patently their 'default' representative. You see, when Harry Patch was seen off, the national throat constricted tightly and uncomfortably, and hearts swelled with enormous pride at the enormity of the sacrifice these men had made for King and Country. Now I shall revert to the barrack's language that I love so much and embrace at emotional moments like this, and point out that your nation was in many areas prone to great wailing and rending of garments when that prize, 'genius of jig and jingles', arsehole...what's his name...Michael Jackson, that's it, popped his clogs. And it would not surprise me to learn that Scrawny Harry was up in the front row with the Revs Al and Jesse sending up halleluiahs regarding the 'greatest entertainer of all time'. Great entertainer my arse! Give me Frank Buckles and his generation any day.

Was that smart-ass crack ab... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

Was that smart-ass crack about flying commercial directed at me? Twenty-five years of Naval Aviation. What is your pedigree, Jim M?

Please don't BS me about him being a surrogate for all who served. There is not even a WWI memorial. Apparently, no one cares. If you want to honor that generation, why aren't you lobbying for a lasting memorial to all of them? Why get your panties in a knot over the vet who is most notable because he outlived all of the rest? You are going to make him the poster child for those who didn't come home, those who did, but died from the horrible effects of gas warfare, or had their feet rot off from life in the trenches? BTW, the WWII detainee issue is a complete non sequitur. He was not a POW. He was a civilian, working at a civilian job who happened to be in the Phillipines when they were over run. Leave that out of it.

I'll say again; and I am typing slowly for those who have trouble following me. I have no problem with honoring the gent; but it is simplistic to make him a cause celebre. Save your "wad" for serious questions.

One more point; for the person who tries to compare America's WWI experience to Britain's, France's or Germany's. That is totally ignorant. They each lost a whole generation of young men in that horrible conflagration. Anyone who has read a damn thing about that war knows that even those Brits, and Europeans who survived the years in the trenches (and some were there for four years) were never the same again. It changed the very character of those countries for decades.

Here are some statistics. I included Canada and Australia just to note the relative impact on countries who not actually part of Europe..

Country/Population/Deaths

UK/45.4mil/885,000

France/39.6mil/1,387,000

Germany/64.9mil/2,050,000

U. S./92mil/116,000 (53,000combat, 63,000 non)

Canada/7.2mil/64,900

Australia/4.5mil/61,900

"There is not even a WWI me... (Below threshold)
Jess:

"There is not even a WWI memorial."

Interesting, as I pass this at times:

"http://www.dcpreservation.org/endangered/2003/warmemorial.html"

Nice try Jess. I went to y... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

Nice try Jess. I went to your site and learned of a neglected LOCAL memorial to the 26,000 residents of DC who served in WWI.

Point to that with pride, and compare it to the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam memorials if you wish.

There's an excellent WW I m... (Below threshold)
fastfreefall:

There's an excellent WW I memorial and musuem in KC,MO. I highly recommend a visit to it if you're in the area.
I don't understand some folks' resentment at the thought of Buckles being honored as the last WWI vet. So what if he didn't serve in the trench? Honoring this man is more fitting,IMHO, than a few of the politicians we've honored in the past.

OldFlyer,One of th... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

OldFlyer,

One of the things Frank was working on was to get a national WWI memorial. He has appeared before congress to get it done.

OFL,"LOCAL" was not ... (Below threshold)
Jess:

OFL,
"LOCAL" was not one of your criteria... FWIW, the WWI Memorial in DC was built to honor DC area Veterans and (based on the words chiseled in the stone) "All Who Served in the Great War".
It's interesting that the "Final" veterans of the rest of the nation's wars have been treated w/pomp & circumstance, yet this man gets little, and we are told that is appropriate...

It's also interesting that ... (Below threshold)
Jess:

It's also interesting that OOF wishes to trot out military pedigree. In that case, I say, "Let's Roll":
Father: USMC, Chosin Resivoir
Uncle (Dad was one of 12 boys): 3rd Army, first under Krueger & them Patton 1943 - end of war.
"Grand uncle": WWI
On both sides of the family back to the GAR and Southern forces, with one direct ancestor's statue of mine standing @ Manassas.

I say "Honor Him".

Oh come on Jess.I ... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

Oh come on Jess.

I cited my 25 years as a Naval Aviator only because of Jim M's stupid comment about those who only flew commercial. Since it followed closely behind my first post, and considering the user name that I have used extensively, it was obviously directed at me.

I have not cited my family's military history. But, there is plenty there. Including father at Okinawa; cousin who eventually took me for my first flight was in B-17s over Germany, and B-29s in Korea. Flew B-47s and B-52s in SAC. Numerous older cousins in the Marines and Army during WWII. I cited the Uncle who was gassed in the Argonne in WWI. I have a letter written by an ancestor from a Yankee prison camp. So what has any of that to do with the discussion?

Since you bring it up, I do not see any reference to your own service. Tell us about it. Maybe I should have joined up at 16 to make it to Korea, then maybe I would be worthy of commenting, but I didn't until I was 19.

I guess I did not type slow enough for everybody. I say again, honor him if you like. Maybe I did not explain my objection initially in words that everyone can understand. I see the whole bruhaha as primarily a means to trash Boehner. There are too damn many professed conservatives just looking for a chance to dump on the GOP leadership because they are not strong enough, effective enough, pure enough, or whatever. This is a concocted issue and I think it is a pure bull**** one.

Posting anonymously on an internet site is meaningless. How many of you "internet warriors" have actually corresponded with your Congressmen if you feel so strongly? I write to each of my Senators/Congressman at least once a month on real issues. Of course that means I have to actually research and think about what I am going to say, and be careful of my spelling, if it is to mean anything.

the greatest honor Presiden... (Below threshold)
Idahoser:

the greatest honor President Zero could offer him would be to forget him. Nothing the incompetent communist puppet could say or do would be anything but fake.

C'mon yourself, OldF.... (Below threshold)
Jess:

C'mon yourself, OldF.
"I cited my 25 years as a Naval Aviator only because of Jim M's stupid comment "

If your experience taught you little else, you should know by now how to respond. "I served" is enough, especially as the topic @ hand had nothing to do w/such service, yet you wish to refer to it time & time again.

"So what has any of that to do with the discussion?"

It (one's extended history) has to do w/the discussion @ hand as much as your continued mentioning of service vis-a-vis this topic. In other words, none. Show absurdidty by being absurd.

"I say again, honor him if you like. Maybe I did not explain my objection initially in words that everyone can understand"

Move goalposts often? Look, if you don't want such an honorary, say so & be done w/it. You, however, can't seem to let it go.

"I see the whole bruhaha as primarily a means to trash Boehner"

??? In internet parlance, W.T.F.??? Are you really asserting that wishing to do as we've done for those in other wars is somehow "a means to trash Boehner"??? Or are you saying that one should not disagree w/a political figure???

This is the real world, bubke. Political figures of all stripes will make decisions & endure comment (& even criticism. You may wish to avoid criticism, as that may give you the vapors)

"Posting anonymously on an internet site is meaningless"

Wonderful, isn't it. As to contacting one's representatives, you might ask as to why I pass near the WWI memorial on a somewhat regular basis....

Oh Jess. You are the cleve... (Below threshold)
Jess:

Oh Jess. You are the cleverest one.

You ought to be a Democrat politician, you are so clever at attacking straw men.

Where is the last Revolutionary War veteran memorialized? Barbary Coast? 1812? Mexican? Civil War? Spanish-American?

You still have not detailed your personal service, although it was you who so proudly chronicled the service of others.

WHOGAS?

That's funny right there...... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer's Smarter Brother:

That's funny right there...

OOFY, you brought up service. Not me. See how that works?

I've answered a # of your points. When will you do the same?




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