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Public Statements

H. Res. 866, Veterans History Project

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. KIND. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 866 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 inception, the project has collected more than 66,000 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.

* 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, 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.

* 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. We are losing more than 1,700 veterans every day and with them, their firsthand accounts of that war. It is imperative that we capture the stories and personal histories of those veterans 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 urge my colleagues to support this measure.

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