By Chris Gay
On February 27, 2011 America lost Frank Buckles, the last of her surviving World War I veterans. Since then, the question has been asked: should a relatively nondescript ambulance driver be remembered above the millions of other American and Allied servicemen who gave their lives in that horrendous conflict? I believe the answer is yes.
So many are quick to forget the famous, haunting words of George Santayana, who noted that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Mr. Buckles will now serve as a symbol to that very sentiment, having fought in what was referred to as both the “Great War” and “War to End All Wars.”
If history teaches us any lesson, it’s that no such war exists. There is always another.
Remembering Our Past
The notoriety achieved by this former corporal at the time of his passing should be used as a catalyst to enlighten younger generations to the atrocities of World War I. If so, we’ll all be better for it.
As time marches forward; as participants in, and witnesses to, this monumental event die out, memories and justifications will continue to recede. Until all that’s left are written accounts that many will simply ignore-or worse; be unaware of. It’s a recession that cannot continue.
Indeed, Armistice Day, the holiday initially established to commemorate the end of the Great War, has already been absorbed and re-christened as Veteran’s Day. The only thing left to distinguish it from other wars is the date we celebrate it: November 11.
One wonders whether the same fate awaits the equally brave World War II veterans in twenty years. After that, perhaps Korea. And then Viet Nam.
We have long had a tendency to pick and choose which war’s veterans should be honored, which should be forgotten or even, reprehensibly, cast aside. The truth is that no war or its veterans should ever be forgotten; regardless of its popularity or the distance from the present at which it happens to reside.
The sacrifices made year after year, decade after decade, war after war, need to be honored indefinitely.
Frank Woodruff Buckles deserved the posthumous attention he received on behalf of himself and the millions of Allied soldiers who did not make it home.
There are few greater acts of selflessness one can perform than to risk all that one has, so that others might be safer for the effort.
From the Revolutionary War through all that have since followed, few generations have been able to escape anteing up their share of young soldiers. These men and women must all be remembered by their families individually, and by their country collectively-and with more than just hot dogs, mattress sales and zero interest automobile loans.
Godspeed, Corporal Buckles. And to all of those men with whom you served so bravely in World War I.
What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.
* * * *
As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.
Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.
* * * *
The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.
Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:
Meat on a Bed of Rice
Cheese and Crackers
Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!
* * * *
Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.
Hope Springs (Barfly)