June 4, 2014 Veterans History Project Recognizes 70 Years since D-Day
Contact: Megan Harris (202) 707-8205, Monica Mohindra (202) 707-1071
Chronicling the stories of 18 veterans, the most recent installment of the Veterans History Project (VHP) Experiencing War web series commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day. For those veterans who took part in the invasion of Normandy, June 6th, 1944 was the defining moment of WWII, unforgettable regardless of individual circumstances. In letters, poems, snapshots and their actual voices, veterans recount their personal viewpoints of that historic day. Included are the accounts of troops on the ground, aboard ship, and in the air, who went on to serve in hospitals and foxholes and among the hedgerows of Normandy. The series can be accessed at www.loc.gov/vets/stories/ex-war-dday-2014.html.
Highlighted collections include that of Leroy Bowen, Jr., a Coast Guardsman who describes the effects of adrenaline on D-Day. Despite carrying 70 pounds of gear on his back, he said he felt as if he was flying as he ran across Omaha Beach. In his interview, Bowen discusses the importance of remembering the horrific scenes from Normandy, as disturbing as those memories are.
Also featured are the collections of two nurses, Lille Magette and Marian Jones, who arrived in France shortly after D-Day. Two veterans who took part in the invasion, Robert Barnes Ware and Robert Harlan Horr, did not return home; their collection materials share a universal poignancy of any conflict with details specific to their part in that momentous invasion. Robert Ware’s correspondence with his wife contains a letter in which she describes her frustration with the uncertainty of life during wartime. Dated only a few days before his death, its timing makes it particularly heart-wrenching. While Horr survived D-day only to lose his life later in the war, he describes losing his close friend in the invasion.
A display of D-Day-related items from the VHP collections will be on display through June 9th in the North Gallery of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, located at 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
Created by law and through unanimous support from the United States Congress in 2000, the Veterans History Project collects, preserves and makes accessible the first-hand remembrances of America’s war veterans from WWI through the current conflicts so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/vets/ or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to advance the knowledge and creativity of the American people through its collections, programs and services. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.