May 25, 2005
Library of Congress contacts: Anneliesa Clump Behrend [email protected];
Helen Dalrymple [email protected]
Public Contact: (888) 371-5848
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS’ VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT TO HONOR
VETERANS, CIVILIAN WARTIME WORKERS ON MEMORIAL DAY
To mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and
the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II this Memorial
Day, the Library of Congress’ Veterans
History Project (VHP) has planned a variety of activities, including interviews
of veterans, presentation of stories from the collection assembled to date,
and an advertising campaign to urge the general public to participate in this
nationwide, volunteer effort to collect and preserve veterans’ stories.
The project is associated with the Library’s American Folklife Center.
Earlier this month, in a joint appearance with Librarian of
Congress James H. Billington in Indianapolis, Sen. Richard G.
Lugar (R-Ind.) announced that his office has collected the memories
of more than 5,000 Indiana veterans that are now part of the
permanent collection at the Library of Congress. Billington presented
the senator with a plaque thanking him for his efforts and, at
a second event, thanked the Indiana volunteers who had helped
to collect the veterans’ stories.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams has proclaimed May
2005 as “Veterans History Project Month” and helped
to launch a cooperative public service advertising campaign to
promote the Library’s grassroots project on the Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (METRO) bus and rail
Volunteers from the Library of Congress and members of the National
Court Reporters Association will interview Vietnam War veteran
aviators and former Prisoners of War (POWs) during the Red River
Valley/NAMPOW Reunion at the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Washington,
D.C., from May 26 through May 28, in an effort coordinated by
Everett Alvarez. Alvarez, the first POW and one of the longest
held in the Vietnam War, serves on the Veterans History Project
advisory Five Star Council. For more information about the reunion,
contact Mimi Drew at (302) 537-2559.
On May 26 Library of Congress staff will interview members of
one of the most colorful groups in World War II, the Flying Tigers.
A one-hour special titled “More Than Love Stories,” drawn
from the oral histories gathered by the Veterans History Project,
will be aired on and around Memorial Day on Public Radio International
(PRI) affiliate stations around the country. Check local listings
for air dates and times. “More Than Love Stories” is
the third program in the VHP’s acclaimed Experiencing War
series. Former U.S. Senator Max Cleland is host of this series,
which is created and produced by Lee Woodman.
On May 26 the Veterans History Project and the United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum will host a half-day symposium titled “War’s
End: Eyewitness to History,” from 1:30 to 5:30
p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress’ Jefferson
Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Benjamin Ferencz,
an Army officer who served as prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials,
will deliver the keynote address. More information on the program,
which is free and open to the public, is available on the Library’s
Web site, http://www.loc.gov/.
The Veterans History Project works with high school students,
veteran service organizations, museums, libraries and historical
institutions to organize volunteers to record veterans’ stories.
Retirement communities are also becoming directly involved by
joining the Veterans History Project’s Retirement Community
Outreach Initiative (RCOI) to record the firsthand recollections
Those interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History
Project are encouraged to request a project kit by e-mailing
[email protected]. The kit is also
available on the Veterans History Project Web site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/ or
by calling the toll-free
message line at (888) 371-5848.
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