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May 24th, 2009
11:24 PM ET

Forgotten vets: 'Doughboys' deserve honor too

Visitors scan the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

Visitors scan the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

I never fail to be moved by the 58,000 names carved into the black granite and the mementos left at the base of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

At night the statues of 19 troops on patrol and the faces looking out from the adjacent wall haunt the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall.

I'm less a fan of the design of the National World War II Memorial but you cannot deny the majesty of its position on the National Mall.

But on the National Mall there is no national memorial to the Americans who fought in World War I. The sacrifice of the American Expeditionary Force is owed a place of honor near memorials for wars that came later.

The World War I troops came to be known as "doughboys," a slang term that dated to the soldiers in the Mexican-American War of 1846. Explanations for its origin range from the chalky Mexican dust that gathered on the uniforms of American troops, the dough used to cook their rations or the clay used to clean uniforms and belts.

World War I began in 1914 but not until 1917 did the United States join the fight alongside the British, French and other nations against the armies of Germany and its allies. Several hundred thousand Americans, most who had barely traveled in their own country, boarded ships bound for Europe.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • David Gergen • Memorial Day
May 24th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #125: Mad Max: Beyond gasoline foam

Reporter's Note: President Obama wants advice. He said so. From normal citizens like you and me. Well, at least like you. In any event, I am complying. Every day a new letter flows from my keyboard to the White House.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

We’re taking the family on a little road trip this weekend. Elder daughter is going to a speech competition in Albany, but because she is also going to prom the night before there is no other reasonable way to get her there except by driving. (Yes, I’ve heard of trains and planes, but the schedules are impossible for this one; and a catapult seems unnecessarily risky.) Bit of a haul, but I’m always good for it. Give me a bag of Twizzlers and some Diet Dr. Pepper and I can cover half the continent before noon. Like most journalists, I have developed the ability to store sleep and artificial preservatives in my back. It presents some issues at Customs now and then, but otherwise works out fine.

While doing a pre-trip fill up, however, I took note of what is happening with gas prices again. I know you don’t drive these days, and I’m pretty sure you don’t have to handle the pump during a fuel stop, so let me just tell you: They are going up.

That sort of explains what our polling guys found as we burned into this holiday weekend: 9 out of 10 of your country’s citizens believe gas prices will go above $3 a gallon this summer; 3 out of 4 think they will go above $4; and a little bit less than a third think we could see prices above $5. (Two percent also think Nancy Pelosi is a professional golfer, but that’s a different matter.)

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