Thursday, March 3, 2011

Speaking of Old Age

There are some who are not fully convinced that people are living to far older ages than in previous generations. And then you see a news report like the following. Of interest to me was the fact that Mr. Buckles had been advocating for a memorial for WWI veterans. When people ask--and yes, some people do--just what is it that all these old people are contributing to our country while they are "stealing" all that money that goes into Social Security and Medicaid and specialized services that could be better spent on the "younger" among us, we have an answer here: they are still involved where and when they can be in in doing what those older generations did so well. They are advocating for change, they are advocating for remembrance for important events of the past, they are getting up and being counted. If a man of 110 can still put effort into advocating for something he believed in, just how do the rest of those far younger than he was justify sitting on their duffs and complaining but never lifting a real hand in support of something they believe needs to be fixed or needs to be established?

And yes, we in Klal could learn a thing or two from Mr. Buckles, not least being that complaining alone has rarely, if ever, led to real change. What is needed is advocacy and getting up off our chairs to actively search for and implement the changes we feel are needed. And given when WWI occurred and how old Mr. Buckles was, we might also learn that "Now" is not necessarily when those changes we would advocate for will take place--we need to prepare to be in it for the long haul.

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Frank Buckles, the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110.

Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died peacefully of natural causes early Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. Buckles turned 110 on Feb. 1 and had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of World War I in Washington, D.C.

Buckles lied about his age to join the army at age 16.The Missouri native was among nearly 5 million Americans who served in World War I in 1917 and 1918.

1 comment:

Abba's Rantings said...

i caught this great story yesterday. very inspiring. "Buckles lied about his age to join the army at age 16" only tells part of the story. he repeteadly tried to enlist in different services and with different recruitment agents but was rejected because of age and physical issues. but he persisted until they let him in. no wonder that someone with this type of drive and determination would live so long and continue to agitate until the end.

i fear that we in my generation lack this type of drive and determination.