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The Veterans History Project real accounts of VE Day

Veterans History Project
The Veterans History Project (VHP) is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Arsenal of Democracy to connect these historic aircraft to the stories of service of the men and women who flew them. The Library of Congress will feature commemorative “Aviators Flight Log Books” tying VHP collections and veterans’ memories of World War II to the aircraft. These stories will also be highlighted here at Folklife Today and via social media. Though only a handful of collections will be featured through the “Aviator Flight Log Books” and Folklife Today posts, the Veterans History Project will remain a treasure trove of some 60,000 personal memories from World War II.

Whether a B-17 Bomber pilot’s narrow escape from a German POW camp, or even a Marine Infantryman describing the divine taste of peaches after surviving his first battle, these accounts make us laugh, cry and remember.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, this 75th anniversary may be the last major VE-Day milestone we will have with those who experienced VE-Day firsthand. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, fewer than 389,000 were alive to celebrate Victory Over Japan (VJ) Day in 2019. We lose approximately 370 World War II veterans a day and with them, their personal recollections of pivotal times in our country’s history. These are sobering numbers that really highlight the importance of VHP’s mission. had the opportunity to interview these individuals myself, or even in viewing the collections others contribute, I know I will carry a piece of these veterans’ stories with me forever. Sadly, but not surprisingly, this 75th anniversary may be the last major VE Day milestone we will have with those who experienced VE Day firsthand. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, fewer than 389,000 were alive to celebrate Victory Over Japan (VJ) Day in 2019. We lose approximately 370 World War II veterans a day and with them, their personal recollections of pivotal times in our country’s history. These are sobering numbers that really highlight the importance of VHP’s mission.

Here are some notable profiles: * Brig. Gen. Charles McGee - Click for Archive * Col. Bud Anderson - Click for Archive * Theodore Cummings - Click for Archive

**What can YOU do to help? ** Get to know your local World War II veteran before it is too late. As our country is facing yet another uncertain time in our history, we can all use someone’s compassion and support. Call or even write to veterans like D-Day survivor and U.S. Army Paratrooper Sam Sachs, who celebrated his 105th birthday at home on April 26th. When it is safe, and both parties are comfortable to do so, consider working with your local World War II veteran to preserve their memories for their families, for yourself and through VHP, those who may never have a chance to meet him/her in person. Did you catch Megan Harris’s latest blog post? Check out VHP’s latest Experiencing War web series entitles “End of World War II – 75th Anniversary” for more stories of service from the men and women who served, remembers, and shared what it was like at the War’s end.

Learn more about The Veterans History Project at this link- http://www.loc.gov/vets/

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