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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Then there was one


TAMPA, Fla. - Harry Richard Landis, who enlisted in the Army in 1918 and was one of only two known surviving U.S. veterans of World War I, has died. He was 108.

[. . .]

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.

Another World War I vet, Ohioan J. Russell Coffey, died in December at 109. The last known German World War I veteran, Erich Kaestner, died New Year's Day at 107.

[. . .]

The last time all known U.S. veterans of a war died was Sept. 10, 1992, when Spanish-American War veteran Nathan E. Cook passed away at age 106.

Well, that's "closure," isn't it? When the last remaining participant of a great historical event dies soon, we will be left to trust the history books and the hiddent agendas of today's passionate partisans, who retell history in their own way for their own reasons. The veterans of World War II, the single event that most shaped the modern world, are dying off at an accelerating rate. If you know any of them, and you aren't getting their stories, that's a loss for all of us. I know that my father, who had seldom ventured more than a few miles beyond where he was born until the war sent him around the world, had many stories to tell. But I was too young, dumb and self-involved to ask him about them.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Bob G.
Thu, 02/07/2008 - 12:25pm

My late father (a WW2 vet) told me lots of stories...and I'm glad I asked him to repeat them for me over the years when I enjoyed his love, tutelege, and yes, even friendship.
Some stories you could even tell in MIXED compnay...LOL!

I still have an album of pictures he took overseas, as well as the CAMERA he used to take them.

Let's hope the real history of "The war to end all wars" doesn't become relegated to some revisionistic liberals, lest we find that America was wrong (again) in defending democracy and freedom.


Larry Morris
Thu, 02/07/2008 - 3:04pm

I hate to beat a dead horse, ... but that's yet another reason if you're a vet that served in a combat zone to join your local VFW chapter, go to the meetings, get to know all the old timers, and listen to all the stories. Yes, there is a lot of sitting around, drinking, and telling tall tales, but when it comes to the "real" war stories, the WWII vets still love to tell the young whipper-snappers how it really was, ... listen and take notes.

Bob G.
Thu, 02/07/2008 - 4:02pm

I agree 100%, Larry.
Geez, with TODAY's technology....VIDEO is the ONLY way to go...just wish I had it a few decades ago.