Final Request of America’s Last WWI Veteran Fuels Effort to Build Memorial For All

Before dying at age 108, Frank Buckles, known as America’s last World War I veteran, said he wanted every WWI soldier that fought together to be honored together. During his visit to a memorial for WWI veterans who were residents of Washington D.C., Buckles was heartbroken by what he saw: a small, marble monument sitting dirty and stained at the end of a broken walkway, hidden by overgrown trees. At Buckles’ request, the World War I Memorial Foundation was formed to restore the memorial and rededicate it to all WWI veterans. Restoration efforts began in late 2010, but, upon completion, the city of Washington, D.C. withdrew its support for rededicating the memorial. Now there is an effort in Congress to build a privately funded national memorial honoring all WWI veterans on the Mall, where it would be accessible to the 25 million people who visit it each year. 116,000 American soldiers died in World War I, outnumbering the combined total of those killed in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. (Liberty Watch, March 22, 2012)

Watch a video below about the efforts to restore this veteran memorial.

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