Press contact: Jeffrey Lofton (202) 707-6432; Jessica Maccaro (202) 707-9822
November 8, 2007 (REVISED November 14, 2007)
House and Senate Pass Bipartisan Resolution to Establish "National Veterans History Project Week"
The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan resolutions that designate the week of November 11 through November 17, 2007, as "National Veterans History Project Week." U.S. Representative Jon Porter (R-Nev.) sponsored House Resolution 770, and U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) sponsored Senate Resolution 374. The special observance mobilizes America to record the oral history of its wartime veterans. Co-sponsors of the House resolution include U. S. Representative Ron Kind (D-Wis.), original sponsor of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, and 23 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"National Veterans History Project Week" will focus the nation’s attention on the importance of veterans’ history. "The goal is to honor veterans and ensure that their stories are available for future generations," said Rep. Porter. "We owe every freedom we have to the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans. Their experience teaches us about the power of the human spirit and the realities of war. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that their history is honored and preserved."
"The American Folklife Center is undertaking a noble project to collect the oral histories of our veterans," said Sen. Landrieu. "But they need the public to be aware of this project to increase the volume of our veterans' stories that we retain for future generations."
The resolution calls upon the people of the United States to interview at least one veteran from their family or community, following guidelines provided by the Veterans History Project. Local, state and national organizations along with federal, state and local governmental institutions are encouraged to document preserve and honor the service of American wartime veterans.
The specially designated week parallels an ongoing community engagement initiative between the Library of Congress and the Public Broadcasting Service to gather and preserve the recollections of veterans. The initiative builds on the growing public interest in veterans’ wartime stories that was generated by the recent PBS broadcast of the Ken Burns World War II documentary, "The War."
The Veterans History Project relies on the efforts of volunteer interviewers from veterans’ service organizations, libraries, historical societies, museums, retirement communities, professional associations, government agencies, universities, high school students and families to contribute to its collections, which currently number more than 50,000.
Those interested in participating in "National Veterans History Project Week" can learn more by visiting the Veterans History Project site at www.loc.gov/vets/ and downloading a VHP Field Kit or Rep. Porter’s Web site, www.house.gov/porter/ and clicking on the "Veterans History Project" link.
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