A history lesson on a personal note -
VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT
It is amazing how fast a year goes by when you get involved in a project that takes a hold of your heart and imagination. For the past year, I have been involved, through the Daughters of the American Revolution, in this project. It is sponsored by the Library of Congress, American Folklife Center in Washington, D.C. and the DAR has partnered with them to obtain histories of veterans of WWI, WWII, and all wars/conflicts from then on to the present.
The Vermont DAR appointed me as Chairman for the state, and my responsiblities are to get other DAR chapters involved in going out, finding veterans and doing interviews. For a while I felt like I was treading water, feeling like the Lone Ranger, as not many were willing to put the time and energy into doing it.
This changed over the past few months, however.
I grabbed my video camera, my tape recorder, and set out on a quest. I would make sure that at least a FEW of the veterans in Vermont would be interviewed. Starting with friends, relatives and neighbors, I banged on doors and called around, finding most veterans willing to be "guinea pigs" for my efforts. It has opened up a whole new world for me.
I learned a lot about the war experiences, I have looked into the souls who are sometimes still tormented by their experiences.
These are good, upstanding people who are proud to have served their country, not always understanding why they had to fight. These are people who came back and made a difference in their world. They have searched for peace within themselves.
Though these interviews, I have been in the trenches of Korea, aboard the submarine Nautilus, atop the Texas Towers ( radar station units in the Atlantic), floundering in the waters of the Pacific when a ship was torpedoed. I am in awe of what these servicemen and women went through. It is living history. I am proud to be a part in preserving it.
Anyone can participate in this project.
To find out more about it, you simply need to go to:
This would make an excellent class project for history students. It features clips of veterans, telling about their experiences and has information on what the project is all about and how YOU can participate. Free packets with forms and guidelines can be requested through this site.
Civilians who took part in the war effort are also an important part of the project. It encompasses all branches of the services.
You can contact the Library of Congress/American Folklife Center at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets to find out how you can assist your state in collecting these interviews.
Be proud that you are a free American! Stand up for our country, give it all you've got - and remember the veterans who gave all they had to give...not only the men and women who perished; but to those who did return home to be haunted by memories that we cannot imagine.
Cherish our freedom, cherish our Flag, and cherish, above all, our Veterans!