John Babcock Obituary
7/23/1900 - 2/18/2010
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The oldest Canadian veteran of World War I has died at the age of 109.
John Babcock died Thursday in Spokane, where he has lived since 1932, according to a statement from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"I was deeply saddened to learn today of the death of John Babcock, Canada's last known First World War veteran," Harper said. "As a nation, we honor his service and mourn his passing."
Babcock had become a celebrity in recent years, especially in Canada.
"John Babcock was Canada's last living link to the Great War, which in so many ways marked our coming of age as a nation," Harper said. He said 650,000 men and women served in the Canadian forces during WWI.
"Today they are all gone," Harper said. "Canada mourns the passing of the generation that asserted our independence on the world stage and established our international reputation as an unwavering champion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."
He said a ceremony to honor Babcock will be held later.
The U.S. has one surviving World War I veteran. Frank Woodruff Buckles turned 109 earlier this month in West Virginia.