February 7, 2005 Valentine's Day Special on Public Radio
“More Than Love Stories” Honors Firsthand Accounts of War
Press Contact: Anneliesa Clump Behrend (202) 707-9822; Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
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The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project will present a one-hour special titled “More Than Love Stories,” which will be aired on and around Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, on Public Radio International (PRI) affiliate stations around the country. Check your local listings for air dates and times. The program is drawn from the oral histories gathered by the American Folklife Center as part of its Veterans History Project.
“More Than Love Stories” is the third program in the acclaimed Experiencing War series. Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland is host of this series, which is created and produced by Lee Woodman. The first program in the series, “Coming Home,” garnered a Gracie Allen Award from American Women in Radio and Television for “superior quality in writing and production” in December 2003. “The Veterans History Project, and this radio special in particular, illuminates the human experience during times of war,” said Diane Kresh, director of the Veterans History Project. “The program features stories of perseverance and hope in times of despair.”
Host Max Cleland is an American war hero, a son of a World War II veteran and a champion of the human spirit. He is a veteran who lost both legs and his right arm in a grenade blast in Vietnam. He understands firsthand the emotional wounds of war and has become a powerful force in garnering support for U.S. war veterans and their stories.
In “More Than Love Stories” veterans from all wars share their detailed first-person accounts of terrifying encounters, funny mix-ups and heartrending disappointments. The program recounts stories of the selfless love for comrades in the field, shares memories of loved ones waiting at home and provides examples of the love for country when one answers the call to service.
Veterans from World War I through the current conflict and the civilians who supported them are coming forward to record their personal stories for a growing archives in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The goal of the Veterans History Project is to collect, preserve and share with future generations the stories of all our war veterans, as well as those who supported them at home and in the field.
To learn more about the project and the stories it has collected so far, visit the VHP Web site at www.loc.gov/vets, where you will find digital interviews, wartime memorabilia and information about how to participate in the VHP.
Congress created the Veterans History Project with legislation sponsored by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Rep. Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). The project is developing the way Congress envisioned: with grandchildren interviewing grandparents, veterans interviewing each other and students conducting interviews with neighbors as classroom assignments. The project is unusual in that it is one of the few nationwide oral history efforts relying on volunteers rather than professional oral historians to collect personal stories.
Hundreds of organizations around the country are participating in the Veterans History Project. Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to e-mail the VHP at email@example.com to request a project kit. The kit is also available on the Veterans History Project Web site at www.loc.gov/vets. PRI is a Minneapolis-based public radio network and audio publisher that supports and distributes programs, many of which are created by leading national producers and are broadcast by its 744 public radio station affiliates. PRI programming also is available on locally branded public radio station Web sites, nationwide via Sirius Satellite Radio and internationally through the World Radio Network.
Some of the veterans featured on “More Than Love Stories” include:
- A.C. Ball, resident of Ooltewah, Tenn., who recalls a funny moment when he thought he had been mortally wounded during the Korean War.
- Sanford Bloomberg, a World War II veteran living in Northampton, Mass., who tells the story of the unexpected death of his beloved older brother Paul on a mission near Oslo, Norway.
- Lillian Crockett, wife of a Korean War veteran living in Gold River, Calif., who recalls accepting his marriage proposal on their first date and then selling her baby grand piano to join her fiancé in Tokyo.
- Warren Evans, a World War II veteran living in Huntingburg, Ind., who tells the moving story of rescuing a small girl abandoned in the woods.
- Fred Grimm, an injured Vietnam veteran from Holland, Ohio, who tells of returning to Vietnam many years later to build more than 22 schools.
- Traci Nero of Fairbanks, Alaska, who tells how difficult it was to leave her 13-day-old child to report to active duty in the Persian Gulf.
- John Masters Nolan, a World War II veteran living in Locust Grove, Va., who remembers sharing a cup of coffee with a young Jewish girl liberated from a slave labor camp.
- Rodney Katz, a historian at the Library of Congress, provides historical context and background.