From the American Folklife Center and the Library of Congress comes a unique online resource designed to preserve the stories and experiences of America’s 19 million living war veterans. The “Veterans History Project,” organized by former President Bill Clinton, seeks to collect and preserve videotaped oral histories–along with documentary materials such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and home movies–of America’s war veterans and those who served in support of them. While visiting the project’s web site, students will be able to read actual letters written by soldiers to their loved ones during many of the nation’s most trying times. The site includes the personal accounts of soldiers and civilians from all branches of service in World Wars I and II, as well as the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars. To keep the project going, students, citizens, and organizations are invited to contribute using the Project Kit, which provides all of the necessary information and forms required to interview a veteran about his or her experiences for inclusion in the archive. Librarians, museum directors, school officials, and civic leaders can read about model veterans projects and learn how to start an initiative of their own.
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