Frank Buckles
Alex Brandon  /  AP
Frank Buckles appears before the Senate National Parks subcommittee hearing last year.
By
updated 11/10/2010 11:58:23 AM ET 2010-11-10T16:58:23

America's last surviving World War I veteran says Congress should pass legislation to create a memorial in the nation's capital honoring veterans of that conflict.

Frank Buckles, the 109-year-old honorary chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation, said Wednesday on the eve of Veterans Day that such a memorial is overdue.

The West Virginia resident is the last of 5 million Americans who served in World War I. He says a memorial doesn't have to be elaborate, but a monument should be created alongside others commemorating other 20th century conflicts.

Born in 1901, Buckles was 16 when he enlisted but persuaded the Army he was 18. He saw no combat but worked as a driver and warehouse clerk in Europe and helped repatriate German prisoners after the war.

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