Oldest Living WWII Veteran Passes Away
The oldest living member of The Greatest Generation has died. He was 110 years old and he lived right here in the Ark-La-Tex. Frank Levingston of Cotton Valley, believed to be the oldest surviving veteran of WWII and for the last month of his life, the oldest American man, period, died Tuesday in a nursing home for veterans in Bossier Parish.
Some of you will say "Wow, well, 110, man, what a run." But think about this. In a very short time, there will be no one left from that time for our children and grandchildren to talk to, touch, know and experience. No one for them to come home from school and ask, wide eyed, "And you were really there? Like, right there?" No one they can say "Jeez Grandpa, why are you so tight with your money?" to, and find out what Great Depression REALLY meant. (side note, my 88 yr old father was asked to leave an IRS office a few years ago for getting too belligerent over $17. True story)
Think of all the things Mr. Levingston saw come into the world. In 1906 the majority of Americans still worked in agriculture. Tuberculosis was killing factory workers and miners. Seperate But Equal was the law of the land. In his lifetime automobiles, then air travel, then space flights unfolded. Radios morphed into televisions movies added sound on their way to high defintion, and computers the size of semis were launched so that someday we could watch cat videos on our smart phones. In all likelihood, never again will a generation witness such enormous change to the world in their lifetime. And when the last one is gone? No more eyewitness accounts. No more living landmarks. No more Greatest Generation.
I have recorded my father telling some of his favorite and funny stories. Mom too. Their childhood, how they met, all kinds of things. It is very unlikely my grandchildren will be here in time to meet them, but I want them to know them. To know that voice. To hear their blood speak to blood and know they have history, they are part of something bigger than just them, and that once, in this country, we had people who were known as 'The Greatest Generation'......