Monday, February 28, 2011

Last American WWI Veteran Dies

I just saw this article on Yahoo and wanted to post a link to it. A man who lied about his age so that he could be a part of World War I and ended up being it's last survivor and a passionate advocate for a National WWI memorial; it's just the sort of thing the family historian in me loves! This is the kind of story I dream of finding out about my own ancestors and for many of us, the part about his lying to the recruiters about his age is, in fact, very familiar. We always tend to pigeonhole people into whichever military conflicts they may have been a part of based upon age and even the NGS HSC has a military assignment where you are supposed to list male ancestors with their birth and death dates and then list military engagements that they could have participated in. Generally speaking, it's a good exercise for making people aware of as many possibilities for records as they can find, but it can also serve to place blinders on people and if nothing else, here is yet another example of the dangers of doing so. In any case, I thought the article was a nice tribute and offered a little food for thought as well.

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