Clarion to host premiere of WW I documentary

CLARION – The Clarion Movie Theatre will host the world premiere of “Pershing’s Last Patriot” Monday beginning at 7 p.m. The 90-minute documentary, which depicts the life of Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, was produced and directed by David DeJonge.

DeJonge, who is a Grand Rapids, Mich., native, has been longtime friends with Mary Goemaat and her family, who now live in Clarion. The two families were neighbors in Michigan.

“I knew this was where I wanted this presentation to be viewed for the first time,” DeJonge said.

Buckles was such an amazing man with an incredible story, he said.

“He was born on a farm in Missouri and hopped a train at the age of 15, traveling to Oklahoma, helping the family to move some horses there. He never came back home. He was living and working in Oklahoma when World War I broke out. Frank lied about his age to get into the U.S. Army. He served again in World War II, becoming a POW in the Philippines and was rescued only a matter of hours before he was to have been executed by his captors. After the war, he moved to West Virginia and was a cattle farmer there until the age of 103.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. with limited seating. Concessions will be available.