The last known surviving allied veteran of the Christmas Truce that saw German and British soldiers shake hands between the trenches in World War One died on Monday at 109, his parish priest said.An article I found around Veteran's Day had these numbers
Alfred Anderson was the oldest man in Scotland and the last known surviving Scottish veteran of the war.
"I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence," he was quoted as saying in the Observer newspaper last year, describing the day-long Christmas Truce of 1914, which began spontaneously when German soldiers sang carols in the trenches, and British soldiers responded in English.
"All I'd heard for two months in the trenches was the hissing, cracking and whining of bullets in flight, machinegun fire and distant German voices. But there was a dead silence that morning across the land as far as you could see.
"We shouted 'Merry Christmas' even though nobody felt merry.
No one knows exactly how many of America's World War I veterans will celebrate Veterans Day, which marks the armistice of November 11, 1918, that ended what then was considered the Great War. An estimated 2 million Americans served in Europe after the U.S. entered the war in 1917.Most interesting, however, was the age of the final veteran to pass from each American conflict:
Today, the Veterans Affairs Department lists just eight veterans as receiving disability benefits or pension compensation from service in World War I. It says a few dozen other veterans of the war probably are alive, too, but the government does not keep a comprehensive list.
The Census Bureau stopped asking for data about those veterans years ago. Using a report of 65,000 alive in 1990 as a baseline, the VA estimates that no more than 50 remain, perhaps as few as 30.
Long-lived veterans are common among America's warriors. The last veteran to fight in the American Revolution died at age 109 in 1869, according to Defense Department statistics.Remember, we don't have to wait for one day a year to honor the man and women who serve, and have served our country! We should do it every opportunity we can find!
Other wars and the ages of their last veterans the year they died: the War of 1812, 105, 1905; the Indian Wars, 101, 1973; the Mexican War, 98, 1929; the Civil War, 112, 1958; and the Spanish-American War, 106, 1992.
But that's just me!