Last WWI veteran: Make a monument to us

Nov. 11, 2010 at 6:33 PM
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WHEATON, Ill., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Washington should have a national memorial to those who served in World War I, the daughter of the last surviving U.S. veteran from that war said.

Susannah Buckles Flanagan said she was speaking for her 109-year-old father, Frank Buckles of Charles Town, W.Va., who believes the nation needs closure beyond reparations recently completed by Germany.

"While the German people have done much to address the long-ago damages ... our own nation cannot declare closure," Flanagan said for her father at a gathering in Wheaton, Ill.

"The reason is simple: We still do not have a national memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor the Americans who sacrificed with their lives during World War I," she said.

A National World War I Memorial Foundation is pushing for a monument to be built in Washington like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the National World War II Memorial.

Flanagan said her father believes a World War I monument would not need to be grand, it just needs to be built, the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., said.

"These are difficult times and we are not asking for anything elaborate," she said on behalf of her father. "What is fitting and right is a memorial that can take its place among those commemorating the other great conflicts of the past century."

In September 2008, Buckles suggested through U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, that Congress rededicate an already-existing World War I memorial in Washington -- but one currently dedicated only to District of Columbia veterans -- as a national and District of Columbia World War I memorial.

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