Veterans are a group close to my heart. My dad and husband are vets, and many of my friends and family are, too. That fact and my love for history made me sit up and and take notice when I heard about the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (http://www.loc.gov/vets/).
According to their website, “The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.” The project has preserved thousands of interviews, including many that were collected during a World War II reunion during Memorial Day weekend in 2004. Researchers and history buffs can access them from the site. The program also has resources for students and hosts events.
Since I’ve been immersed in the 1940s with my current project, I looked at the World War II collection. They have hundreds of records, from male and female vets in every branch of the military, from service in the U. S. to Europe to the Pacific to the territory of Alaska. I will definitely keep this in mind for future research projects. But more importantly, I’m glad there’s a place for veterans to tell their stories and for families to see they are appreciated. These stories are precious, and should be preserved.
Are you a veteran, or a friend or family member of one? To participate by submitting a veteran interview or helping to conduct an interview, go to http://www.loc.gov/vets/kit.html.