February 7, 2012
I remember the death of the last Civil War Veteran...
A British woman who served with the Royal Air Force for the last two months of World War I was the last known veteran of the war when she died in her sleep Saturday night. Florence Green joined the RAF at the age of 17 and died just before her 111th birthday, which would have been Feb. 19. She had been a mess steward with the air force, the BBC reported, serving in two U.K. air bases after she joined up on Sept. 13 1918. The Allies signed the armistice with Germany on Nov. 11, 1918. Green follows Claude Choules, a Royal Navy sailor who was the last WWI combatant before he died in May 2011, and Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of the war, who died in February 2011. All were 110 years old.
The last Civil War vet, Albert H. Woolson, died in 1956. I remember my mother telling me.
I only remember, as a boy, personally knowing one person who fought in WWI. There were probably others around me, but I wasn't aware. This particular man's "fighting" was not combat, however. As he put it, "The first day I got to France, I got in a knife fight with another Southern boy." That was the end of his war.
In my youth the WWII vets were the upcoming men, with young families. The grey haired senior men, such as President Eisenhower, were in the WWI generation. I remember when it was a big deal that JFK was the first President of the WWII generation.Posted by John Weidner at February 7, 2012 1:44 PM