The World War I era is about to draw to a close

We’re drawing very close to the end of an era. The United States only has one remaining living soldier who served in World War I. He’s 107 years old. I’ll be blunt: he’s going to die soon, and with it, the World War I era will draw to a close. It will eventually be consigned to the history books, much like the Revolutionary War is today.

My dad tells stories of how, when he was young, some of the last living Civil War soldiers would be paraded through town on holidays. Although I’ll never be able to say I saw any World War I veterans in parades, I will at least be able to tell my children that I was around at the same time as them. That’s a powerful connection to the past. It makes it more meaningful than if you just read it in a history book. The Revolutionary War is long dead and we only consider it in the realm of history, but the Civil War was recent enough that many people living today remember having seen or met people who fought in it. World War I will retain that quasi-contemporary status for awhile longer, but its primacy participants will all be dead within a maximum of a few years.

So take the time to form a permanent memory of a time when World War I veterans still walked the Earth. Your chances are running out.

2 Responses to “The World War I era is about to draw to a close”

  1. shadey Says:

    Although not World War I, my Gran was part of rebuilding the RAF during WWII. When the Germans decided it was a tactical decision to bomb the major cities in the UK, the RAF saw this as an opportunity to rebuild in unknown outskirt territories.

    My Gran lived through both wars but in WWII women really made a difference and we owe them a lot for that. Unfortunately, today, it’s not made clear just how much thanks we owe them. The War was not just about “bombing” the enemy, it was also about survival during the “blockade” as it were for people in the UK.

    Through my Gran, I have definitely felt a deep connection to both Wars, and it’s a shame to think that this connection will fade through time. However, times moves on and let’s hope that people will remember this important part of our history.

  2. Graham Says:

    There’s still a living American Civil War widow. Seriously, it’s sad to see an important era of history come to a close like this. One of the most amazing centenarian World War I veterans here in Australia was Jack Lockett who carried the Olympic torch for the Sydney Olympics at the age of 109!