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Veterans History Project

Veterans of the United States military have demonstrated tremendous courage and heroism and made untold sacrifices in the service of our country to preserve freedom. Each veteran has a story that is unique, riveting, and of historical significance. The legacy of these men and women must be preserved. Their stories must be told.

The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect and archive the personal recollections of U.S. wartime veterans, as a way of honoring their service and sharing their stories with current and future generations. The project also collects stories from civilians who worked on the home front in support of our armed forces.

WSRE recently hosted a group of interested veterans, family members, teachers, students, historians and citizens to participate in a Veterans History Project workshop. A representative from the Library of Congress conducted the workshop, helping participants learn how to conduct interviews and collect historical documents for submission to the Library of Congress. By participating in the Veterans History Project, citizens will be contributing to the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, helping to preserve history and honor the legacy of veterans who have served our country.

Donated collections take the form of war veterans’ first-hand oral histories, memoirs, photographs, letters, diaries, official separation documents such as DD-214 and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts. On behalf of a deceased war veteran, historical documents may be submitted, such as the veteran’s collection of photographs, letters, diaries and memoirs.

Search the Veterans database at www.loc.gov/vets to see the thousands of archived stories, including that of Pensacola resident Glen Wallace, a Navy fighter pilot who participated in many harrowing missions over Japan in the final months of WWII. Glen Wallace is featured in Part II of Gulf Coast War Memories.

WSRE is proud to engage our community in researching and preserving the stories of our nation’s veterans to ensure that they become a part of our country’s collective and permanent history.

Pictures from the latest Veterans History Project Workshop:

Mike Gilbert, Vietnam Veteran (USMC) and PJC History instructor, talks with Dianne Blair, who attended the workshop so that she could learn how to document the histories of relatives who served in WWII
Mike Gilbert, Vietnam Veteran (USMC) and Pensacola State College History instructor, talks with Dianne Blair, who attended the workshop so that she could learn how to document the histories of relatives who served in WWII.

History Buff Linda Ott shares her research tips with Washington High School student Simone Watson.
History Buff Linda Ott shares her research tips with Washington High School student Simone Watson.

Annette Fromm, representative from the Library of Congress, instructs the group on effective ways to conduct interviews with veterans.
Annette Fromm, representative from the Library of Congress, instructs the group on effective ways to conduct interviews with veterans.

WWII veteran Herb Wanzer shares his pictures and stories with Christina Drain, Editor of the Corsair at Pensacola Junior College.
WWII veteran Herb Wanzer shares his pictures and stories with Christina Drain, Editor of the Corsair at Pensacola State College.

Nearly 60 people participated in the Veterans History Project Workshop today.
Nearly 60 people participated in the Veterans History Project Workshop today.

Tate High School Social Studies Teacher Cherie Arnette studies photos of veterans with her students Madeline Chivington (middle) and Lindsay Young.
Participants at the Veterans History Project workshop discuss the importance of preserving the stories and the legacies of American veterans.

Lt. Col James Coleman shares his experiences with American History teacher (Bailey Middle School) Scott Burwell.

Lt. Col James Coleman shares his experiences with American History teacher (Bailey Middle School) Scott Burwell.

Participants at the Veterans History Project workshop discuss the importance of preserving the stories and the legacies of American veterans.
Participants at the Veterans History Project workshop discuss the importance of preserving the stories and the legacies of American veterans.

THE WAR and The Veterans History Project

THE WAR is as much about storytelling, about sharing unique experiences, as it is about World War II. The film provides only a small window into the much larger experience of the hundreds of thousands who have served during times of war.

The story of World War II is a story shared by millions of Americans, but as time goes by, many of these stories are being lost. For those who served our nation, from the battlefront to the home front, every story deserves to be heard. That's where you can help.

PBS and Florentine Films have partnered with the Veterans History Project (VHP) in a massive effort to capture the stories of men and women who experienced the war first-hand before the generation that witnessed World War II has passed.

The Veterans History Project is part of the Library of Congress and honors American war veterans and civilian workers who supported them by preserving stories of their service to our country. VHP collects and archives the one-of-a-kind stories that represent the diversity of the veterans who served our country — veterans from all conflicts, from all branches of the military, all ranks, all races and ethnicities.