Thursday, April 05, 2007

Four . . . Three . . .

I see where another World War I vet has passed on. Keen observers of this site will remember that on March 29, we recorded the passing of the oldest WW1, and last surviving woman, vet. This time, it’s Lloyd Brown, the last known U.S. Navy veteran. There are three known survivors at this point, all from the Army, and a person in Washington state who served in the Canadian army.

You look at the photos from that war, an ugly, dirty thing which accomplished nothing and I don’t know how many thousands of dead and injured landed in the mud. The last woman and sailor just left us and there’s only three soldiers left.

Statistically, we lose about a thousand WW2 veterans every day (or so we are told by those who would have us remember the vets). Each war “ages out” and gives way to those who served in the next war. When you pass a really old cemetery in New England, you can look back to people who fought the Redcoats in the initial battles that separated us from England.

I wonder what it must be like to know you are the last, or one of the last, soldiers to have served in what we now call WW1. Break out the bottle for the Last Man’s Club.

Everybody has a story.
Naomi O’Hara, 91, a former local resident, left us the other day. She had been a nurse and, among other places, served with the Army Nurse Corps at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where she participated in the development of penicillin.


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