As Veterans Day approaches, programs are underway to promote the preservation of the history of the nation’s veterans and to honor their service to our country. These include the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress and “Take a Veteran to School Day” sponsored by the History Channel.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington recently launched a new campaign asking America to “collect and preserve the story of at least one veteran” and to “pledge to preserve this important part of American history.”
Congress created The Veterans History Project in 2000 as a national documentation program of the American Folklife Center to record, preserve and make accessible the firsthand 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. More than 68,000 individual stories comprise the collection to date. 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) 371-5848.
Take a Veteran to School Day is a national program developed by HISTORY to link veterans with students. Schools and communities invite veterans of all backgrounds to share their stories and receive thanks for their years of service.
Launched in 2007, thousands of schools nationwide have participated in Take a Veteran to School Day. From single class visits to all-school assemblies, these events provide a way for students to learn more about the history of Veterans Day and about the experiences of veterans from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Registration information, how-to-guides and curriculum and planning guides can be found at www.veterans.com.