By U.S. Representative John R. Carter
As Americans, we all share a common appreciation for the risks and sacri.ces suffered by those who have
ensured our national security. The combined stories of our war veterans and the civilians who supported them, tell the story of a nation's perseverance and commitment to democratic values. Today, as we are engaged in the War on Terror, let us turn our thoughts to the millions of veterans spread throughout our families and communities. Each one of these individuals has a unique and personal story to tell about their service and sacri. ce for America. These are stories about how military and civilian experi-ences in turbulent times changed their lives and the life of a nation. It is for this reason that Congress passed legislation in 2000 to create the Veterans History Project through the Library of Congress.
The Veterans History Project is currently collecting interviews from vet-erans and those who have shared their experiences. The project is also seeking firrst-hand materials such as letters, photographs and journals for the national collection. This material will be preserved so that veterans,researchers, authors, . lmmakers, teachers and students can learn and enjoy the lessons contained in them.
It is important for all of us to play a part in the Veterans History Project.
I am asking that people in the 31st District interview war veterans that are close to them and pass along those memories to the Veterans His-tory Project. Interviewing friends, grandparents or aunts and uncles are all wonderful ideas that will help us better understand and respect the times that these men and women lived through. They may have foughtin the Persian Gulf, Vietnam, Korean or even a World War. Even thoseindividuals that served as civilians to support the war effort are being asked to share their experiences. The memories of these servicemen and women can be captured on audiotape, videotape or through their own writings. If you are willing to participate and would like more informa-tion, please contact the Veterans History Project via their website at: www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/.
Two months ago, on Memorial Day 2004, the World War II Memorial dedication ceremonies took place
in Washington, DC. As servicemen and women continued to be honored with this monument, we will also be able to honor them with the preservation of their personal accounts of service and dedication to the United States of America. As family, friends and Americans, we all need to play a part in this effortto commend and remember these men and women of honor.