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February 23, 2004
Contact: Anneliesa Clump Behrend (202) 707-9822, [email protected]

Women Legislators Join VA and DAV in Veterans History Project

Incoming NFWL president Jan Judy (left) and VHP director Beverly Lindsey (right) pose with Secretary Principi. Photo courtesy of Pepe Gomez for the NFWL.

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi will be the featured speaker at a kickoff to increase national awareness of the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project on Feb. 24. He will be accompanied by members of Congress and elected women officials from every state, as well as veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is joining forces with the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL), the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to record interviews with veterans for presentation to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.

A news conference announcing the project will be held at 10 a.m. in the “Russell Swamp” (located on Constitution Avenue in the park next to the western side of the Russell Senate Office Building). Women legislators will hold similar news conferences in every state and territory.

I am proud VA is a part of this very important effort to preserve the legacy of America’s veterans,” said Principi. “This project will allow younger generations of Americans to learn about the sacrifices and patriotism of those who fought to guarantee their freedom.

It is so important for all Americans to reach out to veterans and I know that our women legislators are honored to be a part of this project and to have the opportunity to be working so closely with our nation’s heroes,” said Robin Read, president & CEO of NFWL.

The Veterans History Project is a wonderful way to honor and remember the men and women who have served our country, often at great personal cost. And this partnership to collect and preserve their stories as a lasting tribute to all American veterans,” said DAV National Commander Alan W. Bowers.

Beverly Lindsey speaks at the event. Photo courtesy of Pepe Gomez for the NFWL.

Women elected officials from every state and U.S. territory have been selected to serve as veterans team leaders for NFWL’s "Heart to Heart" program to record interviews with veterans for presentation to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. VA will assist NFWL in locating veterans to be interviewed and will provide nationwide public affairs support. DAV is encouraging its members to interview their fellow disabled veterans or to allow a volunteer to interview them.

Team leaders have been focusing on interviewing World War I and World War II veterans. During the next year, they will also interview veterans of Korea, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is collecting and preserving audio and video recorded histories, along with documentary materials such as memoirs, letters, diaries, maps, photographs and home movies. The material will be available to veterans, their families, researchers, historians and future generations of Americans at the Library of Congress, with representative samples also online at the Veterans History Project web site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

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People wishing to receive e-mail from VA with the latest news releases and updated fact sheets can subscribe at the following Internet address: http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/opalist_listserv.cfm

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