When the United States entered the First World War, Mr. Buckles tried several times to join the military, and eventually found an Army recruiter who believed he was 18, even though he was only 16. How many 16 year olds tried to fake their way into the Marine Corps after September 11th? He served in France until after the war ended, then returned to civilian life. He was in the Phillipines when the Japanese attacked during World War II, and spent several years in an internment camp. He dedicated his later years towards re-dedication of the World War I monument in Washington D.C. as a national memorial.
It boggles my mind the things that Mr. Buckles and his generation lived through:
- World War I
- The Roaring 20's
- World War II
- The Post War Peace and Prosperity
- The Cold War
- The IT Revolution
I remember several grandfathers when I was growing up who wore World War I medals with their buddy poppies on Memorial and Veteran's Day. Mr. Torkelson, who shared a pew with us in church every Sunday, had left an arm in France in 1918. Now they are all gone. These men, and their sons and daughters who fought World War II, built the world we live in. Without their hard work, even if the World Wars had not occurred, our world would be much smaller and poorer. We owe Mr. Buckles and all who served with him a great debt.