Last WWI veteran rallies Congress to support memorial

Frank Buckles is 108 years old and is the last U.S. veteran of WWI. Buckles was scheduled to testify last week in support of a bill that would redesignate a WWI memorial in DC. If passed, the bill would allow for the memorial to be a combination DC/national landmark.

Buckles was reportedly disappointed to see the state of the memorial in 2008 when he first visited it. According to the D.C. Preservation League, it is a “Most Endangered Place” in the city and is in disrepair. Built in 1931, the memorial is located near the Lincoln Memorial and according to the Preservation League’s executive director, is not on any maps, does not have signage, is not lit and even had a tree growing out of it at one point.

Controversy may pose some problems for the passage of the bill, though, as there is another WWI memorial already located in Kansas City. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has indicated that she wants that memorial to be the “official national WWI memorial.”

Read more about efforts to restore the WWI memorial.