The March 16 front-page article about the burial of the last doughboy, Frank Buckles, included these statements: “Tuesday’s hours-long viewing in the amphitheater chapel was a consolation. Buckles’s family and members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation had wanted him to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, but the Senate and House leaders said no. The old corporal just didn’t rate it.”
If Mr. Buckles had been a high-ranking officer, I’m certain he would have been in the Capitol Rotunda. But most of those high-ranking officers were usually in the rear, while the privates, corporals, sergeants, lieutenants and captains were in the front-line trenches dying for what we have today.
Mr. Buckles was the last of 4.7 million soldiers who served in the Great War to give America its freedom. There are now no more. He rated it.
Wellman Clark, Great Mills, Md.
What an eloquent, sensitive tribute to Cpl. Frank Buckles. I was in tears at the end. Thank you, Paul Duggan, for educating us about what our World War I veterans endured after they returned from combat. I suspect your words will be the last that the majority of us will ever hear about the lives of these men.