Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. The holiday first came to be to honor Union soldiers after the Civil War. After World War I the holiday was changed to honor all veterans of all of America's wars.
Speaking of World War I. Frank Woodruff Buckles is the last known American-born veteran of the First World War. Mr. Buckles was only 16 when he convinced an enlister that he was 21.
Mr. Buckles did not get stuck in the trenches during the war. He was stationed stateside, then the UK, France and Germany where he helped return prisoners of war back to Germany.
Frank Buckles was born February 1, 1901 which makes him one of the few men who were alive for both turn of the century September 01 terrorist attacks, that being the September 14, 1901 anarchist terrorist assassination of President William McKinley and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
At 107 years old Frank Buckles still fires on all cylinders, daily giving interviews. He thinks the worst president in his lifetime is not George W. Bush, or Richard Nixon, but his very first president, that being the aforementioned William McKinley. Why, I do not know.
Mr. Buckley lifts weight daily and does about 50 sit-ups each morning in addition to his stretching routine.
Mr. Buckley has said he believes America should only go to war "when it's an emergency." He met President Bush at the White House on March 6, 2008. I don't know if Mr. Buckle let Mr. Bush know what he thought about the War in Iraq.
Frank Buckle wanted to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. But he was not eligible. Friends and family took up his cause and eventually Ross Perot learned that Frank Buckle was being denied an Arlington burial. Within 2 weeks Mr. Perot had the White House giving Frank Buckle special approval to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.