Armistice Day is probably more strongly recognized in Europe..., more notably than here in the United States. World War I was fought on their soil, not ours, so it would be reasonable that their memory may run deeper than our own. But let's not forget that ten million Americans fought in WWI and approximately 112,000 died. Those Americans were our grandparents, our fathers, our uncles, our cousins. William Kuckku was one of those. (William was the only son of Marie who immigrated from Germany with her mother and siblings. Her father had died in an accident on the job in Germany prior to the family moving to Nebraska.)
William Henry Kuckku was born in Wisner, Nebraska, but later moved to Idaho. On June 5, 1917, in Emmett, Gem County, Idaho, William filled out a draft card. Less than a year later he died on the battlefields of France. The draft card lists him as single although he must have married shortly after for a widow is mentioned in his obituary. The following was written by a family member.
"William H. Kuckku left Emmett, Idaho, on October 18, 1917 for Camp Lewis with seven other registrants. He was in camp only four weeks when he left for overseas. William was killed in action at the battle of Cantigny May 28, 1918. The last letter his wife received from him was dated May 20. He wrote they were under shell fire. He was buried June 10, 1918 in the Commune of Grivenes (sp?), Department of the Somme, grave marked by a cross and one identification tag, the other being buried with the body."
William had no children. His sister, Alma, requested his body be returned to the small town in Nebraska where he was born. He was buried beside his parents. Our family placed a memorial brick with his name on it at the American Legion in Wakefield, Nebraska, where Alma lived at the time. William's photo is on the wall at the American Legion in Emmet, Idaho, along with photos of other Emmet residents who served in the Great War.
We remember William.
On this Veterans Day 2008 we also think of other family members who have and are still serving in the military. May God keep you all safe and in His hand.