November 16, 2001 Veterans History Project Seeks World War I Veterans' Histories
Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: Veterans History Project (888) 371-5848
The Library of Congress and its American Folklife Center are urgently seeking the assistance of Americans throughout the nation to identify World War I veterans in their communities who are willing to be interviewed about their wartime memories and experiences.
The call from the Veterans History Project's director, Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, follows the project's inauguration on November 8. "With Thanksgiving here soon," Ms. McCulloch- Lovell said, "there is no more fitting way to show our gratitude to our nation than to preserve the memories of those who have served us in wartime. If everyone could volunteer a little of their time during Thanksgiving to help identify willing World War I veterans in their communities," she continued, "their feast will be enriched by giving a piece of history to the nation."
Individuals, relatives, veterans, civic groups and organizations that know of a World War I veteran are invited to contact the Veterans History Project, where staff will provide guidance and pursue every possible channel to ensure that an audio or video interview be made and preserved at the Library as part of the permanent record of our nation's history.
Noting that "the service and sacrifice of our war veterans is the bulwark of our freedoms," James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, stated that "the record of their service must be preserved for future generations."
On the Monday after Thanksgiving, a team from the Veterans History Project will be prepared to answer telephone calls and e-mails.
The American Folklife Center is asking those who have information to call the toll free message line at (888) 371-5848 to leave their names and telephone numbers or contact the Veterans History Project by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Veterans History Project is a project of the Library of Congress through its American Folklife Center to collect and preserve oral histories and documentary materials from veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars. The project was created by Congress in legislation sponsored by Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel, and Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer. The legislation passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. AARP is the founding private sector sponsor of the project.
To learn more about the project and to see a listing of more than 100 Official Sponsors and the members of its Five Star Council, visit www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.