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Expressing Support for Designation of a National Veterans History Project Week

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Location: Washington, DC


EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR DESIGNATION OF A NATIONAL VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT WEEK

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Mr. KIND. M r. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 770 which encourages the designation of a National Veterans History Project Week. This resolution encourages increased public participation in the Veterans History Project.

As you may know, the Veterans History Project collects and saves the stories of America's veterans who have bravely served this country from World War I to today's conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This project provides Americans an important way to honor our soldiers: by preserving the story of their service, in their own words, for the use and benefit of future generations.

In 2000, I authored and Congress unanimously passed legislation creating the Veterans History Project. Since its beginning, the project has collected more than 50,000 stories and documents. In addition, the Veterans History Project was honored by Harvard University as one of the finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award competition in 2005.

We must get the word out to all veterans about this important initiative. We have millions of wartime veterans and civilians in this country and their stories are a reminder to us all of the costs of the freedoms we so deeply cherish. Let this resolution also serve as a reminder to the distinguished members of this body that the decisions we make here in Washington have a far-reaching impact in the homes and communities all over this great country. We must support these brave men and women whom we send out to the front lines to fight for the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy.

Since the beginning of our Nation, the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines of the armed forces have been called on to risk their lives and fight for the ideals that make America great. Regardless of what one thinks about the wars that they fought in, or the wisdom of our involvement, all Americans must agree that the men and women of our armed forces have responded to the call of their country and performed with honor and dignity. War veterans and the civilians who have supported them all across this Nation have stepped forward once again, this time answering the call of civic duty by recording their stories and contributing personal documents for the Veterans History Project. Their participation ensures that their accounts are recorded and preserved, becoming a part of this Nation's memory and history.

The volume of materials already collected by the Veterans History Project is a testament to its success. I believe, however, we can do even better. By passing this resolution today, we can encourage more participation in this important program and ensure that this vital collection of American history continues to grow even further.

Capturing the stories of our war veterans is more important now than ever before. Every day, America loses over 1,000 of our aging World War II veterans and with them, their firsthand accounts of that war. As our country faces new challenges and threats in foreign policy, we must not forget the events and lessons of World War II. That is why it is imperative that we capture th e stories and per sonal histories of those veterans to day before it is too late. The Veterans History Project is instrumental in accomplishing this important goal.

I call upon all members of this body to publicize and promote the Veterans History Project in their own districts and communities. I cannot think of a better way to honor our veterans than by trying to preserve as many of their memories and stories as possible.

I commend the gentleman from Nevada for introducing this resolution and I strongly urge my colleagues for their support.

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