Army Cpl. Frank Buckles, the last American veteran of World War I who died at age 110 late last month, will be memorialized and interred at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, cemetery officials announced Friday.
Mr. Buckles will lie in honor at the Memorial Amphitheater Chapel from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the public to pay their last respects. A private burial service will begin at 4 p.m.
Several House and Senate members, particularly lawmakers from West Virginia, where Mr. Buckles had lived for decades, had pushed for him to be lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda. But the effort failed to win the necessary support of each chambers’ leader — House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, a West Virginia Democrat, said he was disappointed Mr. Buckles’ body won’t be lain in state in the Capitol but added the Arlington ceremony is “a fitting way to say goodbye to our last doughboy.”
“It is meaningful to me, and to all of us who care so much about Frank Buckles and our veterans, that the public will be able to pay its respects as he lies in honor at Arlington National Cemetery surrounded by so many brave men and women who fought to protect this country,” Mr. Rockefeller said.
Mr. Buckles’ daughter, Susannah Buckles Flanagan, said the Arlington ceremony “is about how my father became a living symbol of all of our veterans, including all of those who served in the Great War.”
Mr. Buckles, born in Missouri in 1901, enlisted in the Army during World War I at 16 after lying about his age. During the “War to End all Wars,” he joined the Army Ambulance Service and went overseas to England and then to France.
After the war, he worked on merchant ships. He was captured as a civilian by Japanese forces during World War II and survived more than three years in prisoner of war camps.
In the 1950s, he moved to a farm near Charles Town, W.Va. In his final years, he pushed for the establishment of a national memorial in Washington for World War I veterans. He was presented with the French Legion of Honor in 1999.