Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are urging Americans to join an effort to record the wartime and service histories of our veterans. Crapo and Risch introduced S. Res. 340, which passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent.
The Resolution asks the Senate to designate a week where Americans can promote the recording of the stories of veterans' service during U.S. conflicts. The National Veterans History Project is serving as a clearinghouse for recorded histories that include videotapes, audiotapes, manuscripts and other items. Crapo has personally interviewed Idaho veterans as a part of the project.
"The Veterans History Project ensures that future generations of Americans will remember the service and sacrifice our brave veterans have made over the last century," Crapo said. "Many of our World War II veterans are advancing in age; we must find ways to prioritize the gathering of their memories and stories for future Americans. This resolution creates a national week of recognition for this valuable program and for our brave veterans."
"It is very important that the insights and experiences of our veterans be retained for future generations. The Veterans History Project will preserve the accounts of the brave men and women who served our country. It is critical for the next generation to understand that freedom often requires sacrifice, and who better to tell that story than those who have lived through it. That is why we need to designate this week as a reminder of the importance of recording these histories," said Risch. "Recently a World War II veteran stopped by my office and shared his stories of storming the beach at Normandy and of fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. It was an honor to hear this important history and this project provides a way to make sure our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have that same opportunity."
Congress has charged the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to undertake the Veterans History Project. A growing number of oral histories are being housed at its offices in Washington, DC. There are estimates that 17 million wartime veterans in America could share their history-making stories.
"Increasing public participation in the Veterans History Project can best be established by building on public awareness of this worthy project," Crapo added. "As a nation, we have celebrated National Veterans Awareness Week and we should build on that by creating a new National Veterans History Project Week."
Joining Crapo and Risch in introducing the legislation were: Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas), Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), John Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and Jean Shaheen (D-New Hampshire). More information on the Veterans History Project is available on the Internet at: http://www.loc.gov/vets/vets-home.html