Youngest of 13 Surviving WWI Veterans Pays Homage, Is Honored at Arlington

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It was getting toward dusk, the sun headed down on yet another day in the very long life of Frank Woodruff Buckles.

He had come to see the grave of Gen. John J. Pershing, on a hill in Arlington National Cemetery. Buckles once shook the great soldier's hand, chatted with him in Oklahoma City, 1920, after the war. Now he sat in a wheelchair on a small stage near the headstone and waited for the ceremony to begin: Veterans Day again.

He's a few months shy of 106, the youngest of 13 known U.S. veterans of World War I still living. When the fighting stopped 88 years ago yesterday, there were 4.7 million Americans in uniform. Now, a dozen men and a woman are left.

They are the last, Buckles and the others -- the end of the generation that parented the Greatest Generation, the adults of the Depression who struggled to feed the children who would grow to win that other world war, the big one everybody remembers.

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