WW1 Monument

Posted: April 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

A group demanding a national memorial to 4.7 million Americans who served in World War I has released a 12-minute clip of a documentary film ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnDX-D-jlxs) featuring the last doughboy, West Virginia's Frank Buckles. Buckles died at age 110 on his farm in Charles Town and was buried on 15 MAR 2011 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. To mark the anniversary, the National World War I Memorial Foundation released a clip from a film chronicling his fight to honor his fallen comrades. Buckles, who lied about his age to enlist in the Army at 16, spent his final years fighting for legislation that would expand and rename a National Mall memorial for veterans from the District of Columbia. But the bill has met resistance from lawmakers who want it to remain a local tribute, and H.R.938 is stalled in Congress. Michigan filmmaker David DeJonge says the film, titled “938,” is intended to challenge U.S. politicians to honor millions of others who served. “For the first time in American history, an organization with no lobbyist has a bill pending in both the House and Senate for a war memorial,” DeJonge said in an email to The Associated Press on Friday. “These bills, however, are being stalled by the political process that is D.C.,” he said. “It has been four years since this started, and D.C. still can't figure this out?”
DeJonge, who became close friends with Buckles, said a bill has also been introduced to create a commemorative U.S. coin. It could raise $3.5 million for the cause, he said, but if H.R.938 doesn't pass, neither will that. Buckles' grave sits on a hillside ringed by cedar trees, with views of the Washington Monument, Capitol dome and Jefferson Memorial to the north. At the crest of the hill, 50 yards away, sits the grave of Gen. John Pershing, under whose command Buckles served, along with a plaque commemorating the 116,516 Americans who died in World War I. It took almost 60 years for World War II veterans to get a monument in Washington, while the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened less than a decade after their war ended. Plans for a new National Mall memorial to honor veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are already under way. Anyone interested in viewing some of America's most beautiful sculptures should refer to the PVT Donald B. Conrad's 'Guide to America's World War website http://www.pdcmilitarymemorials.com/ww1/index.html which lists 950 WWI monuments and memorials by state and city. [Source: Associated Press Vicki Smith article 16 Mar 2012 ++]


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