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'Voices of War'

The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress presents the first book of stories drawn exclusively from its collections. Voices of War relates war through the eyes of 60 veterans and civilians caught up in the momentous conflicts of the 20th century. Richly illustrated with photographs, drawings and paintings from the project's own collections, Voices of War relives the totality of war in the words of the men and women who experienced it, through their oral history interviews, memoirs, diaries and correspondence.

Alvin Dickson standing by tent near Alzey, Germany Cover, Voices of War: Stories of Service from the Home Front and the Front Lines

The Veterans History Project collects, preserves and makes available the extraordinary wartime stories of ordinary people in World War I, World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. In addition, those U.S. citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories.

The project relies on volunteers to interview, record, compile and donate materials. All are encouraged to participate: veterans, civilians, adults, young people, men, women, scholars, students, amateurs and experts. In turn, participants can rely on the Library of Congress to preserve, catalog and share these collections now and in the future.

Each Nov. 11 we pay special tribute to our nation's veterans. The Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement with Germany at Rethondes, France, on Nov. 11, 1918, bringing World War I to a close. Between the wars, Nov. 11 was commemorated as Armistice Day in the United States, Great Britain and France. After World War II, the holiday was recognized as a day of tribute to veterans of both world wars. Beginning in 1954, the United States designated Nov. 11 as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars. You can read more about this holiday in Today in History, a Web site with historical facts and multimedia resources for every day of the year. Voices of War is available for sale for $30.


A. Alvin Dickson standing by tent near Alzey, Germany. March 1945 [detail]. American Folklife Center/Veterans History Project. Reproduction information: Not available for reproduction.

B. Cover, Voices of War: Stories of Service from the Home Front and the Front Lines (2004) National Geographic. Reproduction information: Not available for reproduction.

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