“Countdown to Veterans Day with Library of Congress”
WASHINGTON (Nov. 4, 2009) – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will join with the Library of Congress to host a “Veterans History Countdown” on the VA Web site – www.va.gov, featuring the oral histories of Veterans from every state and U.S. territory.
“VA has partnered with the Library of Congress to honor our Veterans, preserve their histories and ensure that their service, sacrifice and heroism will never be forgotten,” said Secretary Shinseki. “We want to encourage Americans to record the oral histories of Veterans for future generations.”
Each day, beginning Nov.1, VA’s Web feature will introduce new personal histories, culminating on Veterans Day when a Veteran’s history from each state and U.S. territory will be available simply by clicking on the U.S. map in the display.
As Veterans Day approaches, the VA Web display will urge Americans to “Honor our Veterans. Record their Histories!” The display will link to the library’s Veterans History Project Web site — www.loc.gov/vets — which, provides background about the program, a guide for volunteers to follow in recording and submitting Veterans’ oral histories and to access the project’s extensive digital archive.
VA has collaborated with the Veterans History Project since its implementing legislation was signed into law on Oct. 27, 2000. VA Voluntary Service has made oral history recording part of its program.
VA offers Veterans the opportunity to record their histories at its facilities and special events. These collections of first-hand accounts are archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
“We hope the Veterans History Countdown will serve as a call to action for volunteers to record the first-hand stories of the Veterans they know-relatives, neighbors, friends,” said Bob Patrick, director of the Veterans History Project.
The Veterans History Project collects and preserves the remembrances of
American war Veterans and civilian workers who supported them.
The recordings make accessible the first-hand remembrances of American wartime Veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Approximately 65,000 individual stories comprise the collection of the Veterans
The project relies on volunteers to record Veterans’ remembrances using guidelines accessible at www.loc.gov/vets/. Volunteer interviewers may request information at firstname.lastname@example.org or the toll-free message line at (888)