To the editor:
When the Lawrence Public Library began gathering the stories of World War II veterans during the opening of the Dole Institute of Politics in 2003, we did not know fully what to expect. The willingness of the veterans to share their experiences was impressive, and we have gained a new appreciation of the amazing veterans in our community.
In 2005, the Kansas Legislature recognized the importance of preserving these firsthand accounts of WWII veterans by allocating funds to the Kansas State Historical Society for distribution to local entities who would record the memories of Kansans who had fought in World War II. By collaborating together, the Lawrence Public Library and the Watkins Community Museum of History were awarded one of the grants to continue our efforts to preserve these priceless oral histories.
We are humbled by the experiences that our local veterans have shared. There are yet more stories to be preserved, and we will continue to interview local veterans. On this Veterans Day weekend, it is with profound gratitude that we would like to thank all the veterans and their families who have shared their stories with us. We would like to thank them for their courage, sacrifices and service to our country.
Lawrence Public Library