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Buckles expected to lie in Rotunda

March 01, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • An American flag hangs on the fence near the entrance to the long drive leading to Frank W. Buckles' house off old W.Va. 9 on Tuesday afternoon. Buckles, the last surviving doughboy, died Sunday.
By Richard F. Belisle, Staff Writer

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Word came Tuesday afternoon that the U.S. Senate is poised to adopt a resolution allowing the body of Frank W. Buckles, the last surviving doughboy, to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Buckles, of Charles Town, died early Sunday. He was 110.

He was the last surviving American veteran of World War I.

The resolution was sponsored by U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va. It was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

Rockefeller said Tuesday that he expects the Senate to pass the resolution allowing Buckles' coffin to be placed in the Rotunda so members of the public can pay their respects.

"Mr. Buckles exemplified the courage, dedication and patriotism of our past soldiers, as well as those of younger generations who continue to serve," Rockefeller said in a news release.

He said Buckles was a leading advocate to create a World War I memorial in Washington to honor the 4.3 million Americans who served in the war. Last month, Rockefeller reintroduced legislation on Buckles' behalf to rededicate the District of Columbia War Memorial, dedicated in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover, as a national World War I memorial to honor all veterans who served in the Great Conflict.

Buckles was born in Missouri. He was 16 when he lied about his age to get into the Army in 1917.

During the early days of World War II, Buckles was working for an American steamship line. He was captured when the Japanese captured the island nation and he spent more than three years as a prisoner of war.

Buckles will be buried in Arlington (Va.) National Cemetery.

Tuesday afternoon, a small American flag hung on the fence near the entrance to the long drive leading to Buckles' house off old W.Va. 9, a simple monument to a venerable soldier.

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Online:

House resolution: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hc112-20

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