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Statement by the President on
The Passing of Frank W. Buckles

"Michelle and I were inspired by the service and life story of former Army Corporal Frank W. Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I and the oldest known World War I era veteran in the world, who passed away yesterday at the age of 110. A decorated soldier in the Great War, he also survived more than three years in Japanese prisoner of war camps during the Second World War.

Frank Buckles lived the American Century. Like so many veterans, he returned home, continued his education, began a career, and along with his late wife Audrey, raised their daughter Susannah. And just as Frank continued to serve America until his passing, as the Honorary Chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation, our nation has a sacred obligation to always serve our veterans and their families as well as they’ve served us. We join Susannah and all those who knew and loved her father in celebrating a remarkable life that reminds us of the true meaning of patriotism and our obligations to each other as Americans."

President Barack Obama, Feb. 28, 2011
White House Release

Last American WWI Veteran Dies

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 - Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American World War I veteran, has died at his West Virginia home at 110. Story | White House Release

Pentagon Honors WWI Veteran, Unveils
Exhibit of Last Survivors' Photographs

Defense Secretart Robert M. Gates talks with guest of honor 107-year-old Frank Buckles, during Pentagon ceremonies, March 6, 2008, unveiling an exhibit of portraitsof the last nine veterans of WWI by photographer David DeJonge. Since the start of the project, all but two of the veterans have passed away. Buckles served as an ambulance driver in WWI after enlisting at age 15.WASHINGTON, March 6, 2008 - Defense Department officials honored one of the world's last living World War I veterans in a ceremony at the Pentagon today. "I feel honored to be here as a representative of the veterans of WWI and I thank you," said Frank Woodruff Buckles, 107, who wore multiple service medals and remained in a wheelchair. He received a standing ovation from the mostly military audience. Story | Dedication

Portrait Exhibit Puts Face on First World War

James Russell Coffey, Sept. 1, 1898 - Dec. 20, 2007, U.S. ArmyDavid DeJonge is an award-winning photographer based in Grand Rapids, Mich., who specializes in portraits. In 2006, he partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a portrait exhibit of the last-known surviving veterans of World War I who lived in the United States. Portraits

Frank W. Buckles: World War I Vet Welcomes Celebrity of His Generation

Frank Woodruff Buckles, Feb. 1, 1901, U.S. ArmyWASHINGTON, March 7, 2008 - Frank Woodruff Buckles lived an unassuming life for 105 years. That was until word got out that he was among the last of a generation that his countrymen only recently seemed to embrace. Story

The End of an Era: The Last Surviving
World War I Woman Veteran Dies

Former Yeoman (F) Charlotte Winters in 2006. She was a founding member of the Jacob Jones American Legion Post 2 in Washington, DC, and was a member for 88 years. Photo by David J. DeJonge.Charlotte Winters lived for 109 years. To some, she may have appeared to be just an ordinary woman who enjoyed an extraordinarily long life. But the passing of Charlotte Winters on March 27, 2007, marked the end of an era in military women's history-she was the last-known surviving woman veteran of WWI. Story

The War That Built the Modern U.S. Military

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2008 – Serbian nationalists who attacked the U.S. embassy in Serbia last month over American recognition of Kosovo's independence provided a somber reminder of how another violent incident nearly a century ago in that faraway place spiraled into a world war. Story

In Flanders Fields Lyrics

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.  Story

By Lt. Col. John McCrae
Maryland (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Related Sites

Experiencing World War I
World War I Medal of Honor Recipients
Frequently Asked Questions About World War I
American Battle Monuments Commission

 
 

U.S. Army soldiers unveil the portrait of WWI veteran Frank Buckles during
Pentagon ceremonies, March 6, 2008, dedicating an exhibit of photography commemorating the last nine veterans who served in World War I. At the left, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates stands beside the 107 year-old Buckles, a veteran of both WWI and WWII, while on the right, stands with the photographer David DeJonge.

U.S. Army soldiers unveil the portrait of WWI veteran Frank Buckles during Pentagon ceremonies, March 6, 2008, dedicating an exhibit of photography commemorating the last nine veterans who served in World War I. At the left, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates stands beside the 107 year-old Buckles, a veteran of both WWI and WWII, while on the right, stands with the photographer David DeJonge.
Defense Dept. photo by R. D. Ward  More Photos | Video

 
 
 
 

The full mobilization of some 2 million U.S. troops into France led to the German surrender and the end of the Great War. Today, only a few of the
Americans who served remain alive.

The full mobilization of some 2 million U.S. troops into France led to the German surrender and the end of the Great War. Today, only a few of the Americans who served remain alive.
View the Slideshow

 
 
World War I Timeline
 

June 28, 1914 – Bosnian-Serb activist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

July 28, 1914 – Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

View the Timeline

 
 
Flanders Field
 

The Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium, a 6.2-acre site, is the final resting site of 368 U.S. military dead, most of whom gave their lives in liberating the soil of Belgium in World War I. Video   Photo and video courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission

 
 
'America Advances' World War I era Navy recruiting poster, by artist Herbert Paus. The Navy Needs You! Don't Read American History - Make It!' Navy Recruiting Poster by artist James Montgomery Flagg, issued during World War I. 'Over There' World War I Navy recruiting poster, by artist Albert Sterner, 1917.
U.S. Marines Recruiting Poster. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Victory Bonds Poster. Courtesy of the Library of Congress U.S. Marines Recruiting Poster. Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Liberty Bonds. Courtesy of the Library of Congress U.S. Government Bonds. Courtesy of the Library of Congress U.S.A. Bonds. Courtesy of the Library of Congress