On February 27, 2011, our nation's last surviving World War I veteran, Corporal Frank Buckles, passed away at the age of 110. As a soldier, he served in both World War I and II. During World War II, Cpl. Buckles was captured by Japanese forces in 1942 and spent the next three years in a prison camp, battling starvation and other horrific effects of imprisonment. Though he suffered greatly, he worked to feed the hungry children in the prison camp, growing a small garden to supplement their meager food rations. Once free and returned home, Cpl. Buckles settled into the life of a farmer and local historian.
Cpl. Buckles' life story has been honored and cherished by many as he was the last living symbol of the sacrifices and hardships endured during WWI.
As we celebrate Veteran's Day this year, I am reminded that each of our nation's veterans have a unique story much like that of Frank Buckles. A story about a life of sacrifice, endurance, and honor.
Scripture tells us, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) Throughout our nation's history, America's veterans have done just that -- laid down their lives to protect the rights and freedoms of each and every U.S. citizen.
I am thankful for all of our nation's veterans. Today, we remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms and their families who have supported their call to serve our country in uniform. Because of their extraordinary sacrifices, we enjoy so many individual liberties today.