Veterans’ project will preserve history

Published 3:14 am Tuesday, May 31, 2005

By Staff
WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), the son of a World War II veteran, highlighted the Memorial Day holiday as an ideal time for veterans and their families to participate in the Veterans History Project.
The Library of Congress and its American Folklife Center are asking all Americans to join in the creation of a national collection by interviewing war veterans using sound or video recording equipment, by asking them to write their memoirs, or by collecting wartime letters, diaries, and photographs.
Upton continued, "As we gather with friends and family during this Memorial Day weekend, let us take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice given by the servicemen and women of the past-the same sacrifice that now provides us the freedom to celebrate with barbeques, parades and festivals. Let us give thanks and pray for the safety of the men and women who serve us on the front lines today, so that future generations of Americans will enjoy the same liberties."
Motivated by a desire to honor our nation's war veterans for their service and to collect their stories and experiences while they are still among us, the United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000.
The collection captures the experience of all participants-men and women, civilian and military-who participated in World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars.
Interviewers might be veterans comparing their experiences with fellow veterans who fought in previous wars.
They may be students talking with veterans and home front supporters within their local communities as part of school projects. Or they may be grandsons and granddaughters coaxing grandparents to share their memories of America at war.
Last Memorial Day the Veterans History Project participated in the historic National World War II Reunion in Washington, D.C.
The Library of Congress collected nearly 3,000 on-the-spot interviews
Instructions and guidelines to participate in the Veterans History Project are available at the Library of Congress' Web site,, or by calling the project message line at 1-888-371-5848.
Upton's Web site,, also links directly to the Veterans History Project.