Bloomfield, Mo. The stories of many of our nation’s veterans have followed them to the grave, but a partnership between the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library in this southeast Missouri town and the Library of Congress aims to change that.
The Veterans History Project was created by law in 2000 and signed by former President Bill Clinton and has been an active project throughout the nation since its inception.
The goal for this project is to provide researchers with a different view of America’s 20th and 21st century wars that previously has only been available through personal letters, diaries kept by soldiers and by personal interviews with veterans.
The Veterans History Project is enabling veterans to tell their stories in their own words. Once interviews are done by the Stars and Stripes they will then be forwarded to the Library of Congress where they will become a permanent part of our American history.
The primary focus is on firsthand accounts of U.S. veterans from the following 20th and 21st century wars:
• World War I (1914-1920);
• World War II (1939-1946);
• Korean War (1950-1955); Vietnam War (1961-1975);
• Persian Gulf War (1990-1995);
• Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present).
In addition, those U.S. civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories.
The museum thinks that it is fitting for them to be involved in this project. Because of the Stars & Stripes newspaper’s history of recording the events of American wars, the museum considers this to be just another step in its long life.
Interviews are being done by Dr. Sheila Perry at the museum on Thursday afternoons and began in mid-May.
For more information, contact the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library in Bloomfield, 573-568-2055.