Boehner Blocks Capitol Ceremony for Last WWI Vet
Arlington the proper place for Frank Buckles' honors, says rep
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2011 8:26 AM CST
In a May 26, 2008 file photo Frank Buckles receives an American flag during Memorial Day activities at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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(Newser) – A campaign to allow the body of Frank Buckles, the last US veteran of World War, I to lie with honor in the Capitol Rotunda—a rare privilege usually reserved for presidents and high-ranking politicians, but sometimes extended to extraordinary citizens—has reportedly been derailed by House Majority Leader John Boehner. West Virginia's two Democratic senators both released statements saying the honor had been blocked by Boehner, who is pushing for a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, says his rep.

The rep did not explain why the speaker was opposed to the Rotunda honors, telling the AP that in Arlington, Buckles would be "surrounded by honored veterans of every American war." Asked whether Boehner would be supportive if the Senate approved a resolution allowing Buckles' remains to lie in the Rotunda, the rep said, "We'll see what the Senate does." The bodies of 30 Americans have been displayed in the Rotunda since 1852, including Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Rosa Parks. “I gotta say, I am stunned that anyone could object to a ceremony here in the Capitol Rotunda honoring the last World War I veteran," one Senate staffer told the National Journal. "We do ceremonies here all the time." Buckles died of natural causes on Sunday, at age 110.