WWI Museum plans vets ceremony after final taps

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The news that no national ceremonies are planned once the last of three World War I veterans has died prompted the National World War I Museum on Thursday to make plans for a national tribute.

“It would really be a shame if we didn’t do something,” said retired Marine Gen. Steve Berkheiser, who heads the museum in Kansas City, Mo. Two of the remaining five U.S. veterans of that war died this week...

[Charlotte Winters, 109, of Boonsboro, Md., died Tuesday and Lloyd Brown, 105, of Charlotte Hall, Md., died Thursday.]

The deaths left three known surviving American veterans of World War I: Frank Buckles, 106, of Charles Town, W.Va.; Russell Coffey, 108, of North Baltimore, Ohio; and Harry Landis, 107, of Sun City Center, Fla. All served in the Army.

Berkheiser said he planned to “form fairly quickly” a committee to plan a national memorial service to be held there within 30 days after the last veteran dies.

A USA Today story published this week, featuring Buckles, noted that the British government plans an elaborate ceremony at Westminster Abbey after its seven World War I veterans die. The Canadian government is weighing a state funeral after its three remaining veterans are gone.

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