Thursday, March 03, 2011

Last man standing

And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

-Job 1:15-

The blogger who calls himself Buffalo sometimes helps me to remember that despite all the politics and mean spiritedness, that life is still worth living and he often ends his posts with "life is sweet." Indeed it is, and precious too. Yesterday, he reminded me that the long, long life of Frank Buckles ended last Sunday. Buckles was the last surviving American soldier of World War I and he was 110 years old. He is no longer here to tell us to remember: the reality, the horror, the gruesome death, the story of the Lost Generation. History forgotten becomes the tool of deceivers and of course the men and the events need to be remembered. The debt needs to be remembered.

There is, almost a century after the Armistice, no National WW I War memorial and although the dead of The Vietnam and Korean conflicts are outnumbered -- and more dramatically when we remember how small our population was in 1918 -- we have only little and local monuments.

In 2008, Frank Buckles
visited the District of Columbia War Memorial, on the National Mall in Washington DC and expressed a wish that it become a national monument to his generation's effort and sacrifice. I think we owe it to him. I'd like to ask you to look at the World War I Memorial Foundation website and consider a contribution and a letter to your senator and congressman about supporting the memorial. To put The Great War behind us while leaving the memory of those who fought and died in it behind as well, is a disgrace.

No, we can indeed afford it. Don't let them tell you we can't.

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