Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The last veteran of World War I has passed away. Not the last combat veteran, the very last person who served in the military during the war to end all wars. It's the end of an era. My father once told me he had a teacher who claimed she came to Oregon on the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. I actually doubt this, but you hear things like it and you feel a connection with the past. Having people who fought in the great war meant we were connected to it in some way. Now that connection is gone. About a year ago I read about the oldest man in the world (who has since passed away) who remembered the day President McKinley was assassinated because it was the day he got his first haircut. At the time I wished I could introduce my children to him so he could tell them that story, and have them remember being told about the day McKinley was killed in their old age. I tried to express that kind of connection with this short story.