Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One American Soldier Among So Many - Veterans Day 2008

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.


cinnamongirl93 said...

Was this person related to your family? Just curious. You have some very interesting information about him. Boy, I can't even imagine what it was like all of those years ago. To be shipped across the ocean. Our country and the entire world was such a different place them.
Today I spoke with an elderly gentleman and asked him if he was a veteran. He replied that he was at Normandy. He shared a few stories with me. At the end of our conversation I thanked him for his service. Thank God for our Veterans and all the sacrifices they made.

WhiteStone said...

Yes, William is family. We traveled to Emmett, Idaho, a year ago and visited the American Legion there. One of the members had put together a memorial poster of the WWI vets from Emmett. William's photo was on that poster. While there we were able to gain some family info about him.

Renna said...

Historical facts have so much more impact when made personal in such a way as this.

I have really been enjoying your blog, and your insightful way of writing.

jim said...

Thank you for writing about Uncle Billy. An uncle I never met and didn't even know much about until you began to dig into his life. You have made his life mean something and I thank you for that. You are an excellent researcher and writer. I am waiting for your first book. I am blessed to have you as my wife!

David Laskin said...

I applaud your research and commemoration of this veteran. It amazes me how quickly European immigrants and their families transferred their loyalty to this country, how bravely they fought in the Great War, and how little they are talked about today. Their service is part of what makes this country great. Your writing is a fitting tribute.