Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Only One Left

America only has one known surviving World War I Veteran.

The remaining U.S. veteran is Frank Buckles, 107, of Charles Town, W.Va., according the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, John Babcock of Spokane, Wash., 107, served in the Canadian army and is the last known Canadian veteran of the war.

I don't know what's more amazing. That we can keep track of them or that they live that long.

From roughly the same era, yet seemingly in a different world, the last American survivor of the Titanic,
Lillian Gertrud Asplund, died almost two years ago.

I remember seeing on TV the story of a woman who claimed to be the last surviving emancipated slave in America (though her claim to that title has been seriously challenged). Regardless there are such memories and they need to be saved.


Anonymous Seth said...

You are so right, Shoprat.

When I was 16, living in San Francisco, I used to go down to Aquatic Park at around sun-up a couple of days a week to hang out with an old fisherman named Joe.

He used to feed his catches to a family of cats that lived under the adjacent yacht club.

He was one of those that built the stone retaining wall and nearby structures, and he used to tell me stories about the early 1900s there.

By now, he is decades long gone and I am grateful to have known him back then and listened to his stories.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I have noticed a trend in this country that has me baffled, Shoprat, and it's that so many young people don't value the elderly. Some don't even value the elderly members of their own family! I take care of an elderly woman who has two grown sons in their fifties! Why should I be the one caring for her when she has family? Obviously because they can't be bothered! It makes me ill to think about it.

10:28 AM  
Blogger jgf said...

We area nation so focused on youth that we do not honor our elderly. We hear every day that the children are our future, but what of those who created what we have today which enable that future.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

One wonders in amazment how this man has lived this long. I suspect that seeing such wholesale death and destruction at such a tender age has infused him with a supernatual drive to live...

6:00 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Seth Locally we have a party store which is owned by a 90 yo man who just refuses to retire and talking to him is always amazing.

gayle and jgf sadly you are both right

tim A lot of people live past 100 these days but I'm sure the war made him appreciate life more.

9:52 PM  

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