Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Requiescat in Pace

Today, the last of an extraordinary generation of American patriots was laid to rest near the grave of his commanding general.  Both the President and Vice-President took the time to attend his memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery.

Corporal Frank Buckles and his comrades were the first examples of Americans who went to war to protect and liberate others, not because the country itself had been attacked or was in danger.  They answered the call to fight to make other men free, and they did so with a vigor and conviction that I have never seen in my own life.  They got no G.I. Bill or signing bonuses, or even what we would consider basic medical care in exchange for the best years of their young lives.  They provided the backbone that the Allies had lost over years of trench warfare, and gave the Allies the edge needed to break the stalemate and end the war.

These men came home to build the great factories and cities that rose up in our country in the first half of the 20th century.  They raised their sons and daughters through good times, bad times, and the worst bad time in our nation's history.  Those who didn't find a way to re-up in 1941 kept the country running while the greatest conflagration the world has ever seen raged, and provided an arsenal of democracy for the rest of the free world.  They didn't do these things for glory, and they rarely became rich.  They did it because it was the right thing to do.

Now the last of their number has joined the ranks at Fiddler's Green, and is probably forming up to pass in review for the Almighty with the rest of a proud and worthy generation.  It is to the generation of our grandfathers and great grandfathers that we say goodbye today.  We will not see their like again.  They were an integral part of our history, and they will be sorely missed.

3 comments:

Christina LMT said...

Beautiful, simply beautiful, Daddy Bear. Thank you.

MrG's said...

Excellent Post Daddy Bear.....although when I read the blurp about Obama paying respects, I figured that there would be a pic of him playing golf....I am a cynic. Mr Buckles is the last of his generation, and the WWII generation ain't far behind. I keep thinking that the subsequent generations are not as hardy as the earlier ones. I have severe doubts of the present generation can handle what Mr. Buckles generation had to deal with.

Old NFO said...

And there was exactly ZERO coverage by ANY media other than the military... sigh... RIP Cpl, you did your best...

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