Final WWI veteran seeks memorial for comrades

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At 107, Frank Buckles must know that there is not much time for him to honor the memory of his comrades who served the United States during the first World War. He's the last surviving U.S. veteran of what then was called the Great War.

The old soldier comes to Washington on Tuesday hoping to turn a run-down local memorial on the National Mall into something in keeping with other, permanent monuments to Americans who've sacrificed in other wars.

Buckles, who left the Army as a corporal, first visited the site in March.

"I think it was a very nice idea," he said from his wheelchair after he and an aide had toured the gazebo-style structure.

Buckles noted that the memorial is not national but was built primarily to honor about 500 veterans from the District of Columbia.

"I can read here that it was started to include the names of those who were local," Buckles said.

He has since joined a crusade to establish the site as a national memorial, which includes a legislative push from Texas Republican congressman Ted Poe. He and Buckles plan to announce details of their mission at a 2 p.m. news conference at the D.C. memorial site.

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