February 1, 2010


The last surviving WWI veteran celebrates his 109th birthday today. Cpl. Frank Buckles was a 16-year-old Army ambulance driver somewhere along the European front. The West Virginian boy must have seen the full wrath of the new refinements of steel, power and nationalist zeal.

The 20th century fascinates me - its revolutions, advances and sins. Buckles is witness to two World Wars, boom times, conflcts in southeast... and southwest Asia, the civil rights movement, and hopefully many decades of peaceful existence with his family.

Many did not come home with Buckles, especially British boys, like sons of Sir Doyle and Rudyard Kipling. I do not think I will ever understand this type of interrupted silence, except to accept that war is a permanent fixture in our world.

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