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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

Thoughts on the "war to end all wars", mustard gas, Uncle Will, and remembrance. by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. This Memorial Day for the first time since the clock struck eleven on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the day of Armistice, there are no known World War I veterans extant. The last U.S. veteran, Frank Buckles, died in 2011 after celebrating his 110th birthday. He served as a U.S. Army ambulance driver in Europe, rising to the rank of corporal before the war ended. Then there was just one more... Florence Green died in 2012 at age 110, just two weeks before her 111th birthday. She joined the Women's Royal Air Force in September 1918 at the age of seventeen. She went to work as a waitress in the officers' mess at RAF Marham in eastern England, and was serving there when the war ended in 1918. With these two deaths, now they are all dead, in their millions, the men and women who fought to make the world safe for democracy, theirs the "war to end all wars" as President Woodrow Wilson earnestly asserted and solemnly pronounced to a world which, after its great sacrifices, wanted so very desperately to believe him, no one more so than William Edward Marshall, my Great Uncle Will. How an Archduke changed the life of a gridiron hero, the most handsome man in Henderson County. "The Great War", as its survivors dubbed it, began when a zealous young Slav nationalist named Gavrilo Princip shot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his morganatic wife Countess Chotek at point blank range . They both died at once... while Austrian authorities proceeded to break Princip's body like so many pretzels. Thus did Princip, just 20, become the first man of millions who yearned for home and peace, finding premature death instead. And so he died starting the invidious process that killed tit... which then had to kill tat... who outraged, had to kill tit yet again. Why did he plan to murder, to assassinate The Heir? For only the highest and best reasons you may be sure... reasons for which over 60,000,000 people around the world died, every day that trail of blood and mayhem emanating from the slumped body of His Royal and Imperial Highness grew broader and broader still. His dead eyes asked a single question, the question hitherto unquestioning millions would ask in their turn "Why"? The answer is to be found in part in William Edward Marshall, citizen of Stronghurst, Illinois, 21st state of the Great Republic. To understand World War I you must understand how Will Marshall, as everyone always called him, gave up everything he knew and valued to go fight on behalf of faraway people he didn't know and would never meet, knowingly risking life and limb, remember -- for total strangers. About Will Marshall. William Edward Marshall achieved the highest rank his country could confer the moment of his birth, for then, the very instant he was born he was Citizen of the Great Republic, a title, style and dignity unknown in most of Europe whose opulent princes had subjects, not citizens. Here Will Marshal, for all that he was not a prince or count, was better off -- and knew it. Thus his belief in the Great Republic, its whys and wherefores, came as easily as breathing. He was a free man in a free country, a man whose right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was assured by the Constitution of the United States. These rights came from his relationship to God, not because of

Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012  

For those who have given so much. A tribute to all our Us Veterans. Thank You