Last WW1 combat vet dies

Tipped off by the sudden increase in hits to my post about the last American WW1 vet to die, I did a little search. It turns out that the final combat veteran from WW1, Claude Choules of Britain, has died:

World War I was raging when Choules began training with the British Royal Navy, just one month after he turned 14. In 1917, he joined the battleship HMS Revenge, from which he watched the 1918 surrender of the German High Seas Fleet, the main battle fleet of the German Navy during the war.

“There was no sign of fight left in the Germans as they came out of the mist at about 10 a.m.,” Choules wrote in his autobiography. The German flag, he recalled, was hauled down at sunset.

“So ended the most momentous day in the annals of naval warfare,” he wrote. “A fleet of ships surrendered without firing a shot.”

He continued his military career, later moving to Australia,

Choules later joined the Royal Australian Navy and settled permanently Down Under, where he found life much more pleasant than in his home country.

“I was nobody,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio in November 2009 of his years in England. “But I was somebody here.”

During World War II, he was the acting torpedo officer in Fremantle, Western Australia, and chief demolition officer for the western side of the Australian continent. Choules disposed of the first mine to wash ashore in Australia during the war.

He later transferred to the Naval Dockyard Police and remained in the service until his retirement in 1956.

Choules remained active and healthy for most of his life,

Still, the aging process took its toll, and in recent years, he grew blind and nearly deaf. Despite that, his children say he retained his cheerful spirit and positive outlook on life.

“I had a pretty poor start,” he told the ABC in November 2009. “But I had a good finish.”

He was 110. The only other surviving service (not combat) member alive from WW1 now is Florence Green who served as a waitress in the Women’s Royal Air Force.

Dubya declines Obama invitation

Dubya doesn’t want to visit Ground Zero with President Obama:

A spokesman for George W. Bush says the former president has declined an invitation from President Barack Obama to attend an observance at New York’s ground zero.

Obama plans to visit the site of the destroyed World Trade Center towers Thursday in the aftermath of a Navy SEALs raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The al-Qaida attack, which killed about 3,000 people, occurred in the early months of Bush’s presidency in 2001.

The spokesman, David Sherzer, says the former president appreciated the offer to attend but has chosen to remain out of the spotlight during his post-presidency.

You know why he really declined? Because he was dumb and said things like this:

I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority. (March 13, 2002)

Makes it difficult to take credit.

What they were really thinking

Remember that royal wedding stuff? Ya know, before we shot that tall, lanky fella in the eye? Yeah, it was the wedding with the ugly bald dude and the attractive woman. It was so awful, I know. But still,