By: Virginia Volkman
For: Red Rock News
Date: November 2, 2012
Veterans History Project at the Library
In a proclamation issued on October 23, Sedona Mayor Rob Adams declared November 3, 2012 Veterans History Project Day:
WHEREAS, the United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 through Public Law 106-380, and the Sedona Public Library later became one of the official partners with the Library of Congress in this endeavor; and
WHEREAS, the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war; and
WHEREAS, local Sedona veterans would benefit from this opportunity; and
WHEREAS, the Veterans History Project will host a midday event on November 3, 2012 …
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROB ADAMS, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SEDONA, ARIZONA, ON BEHALF OF THE SEDONA CITY COUNCIL, do hereby proclaim November 3, 2012 as VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT DAY in Sedona.
The Library is a proud partner in this project. Local volunteers have recorded the personal stories of 174 veterans who are area residents. Funding for this project is provided locally through tax-deductible donations by individuals and businesses, and the Rotary Club of Sedona. Donations may be sent to the Sedona Public Library, specifying that the donation is restricted to the Veterans History Project.
Specially trained volunteers conduct and record the interviews privately in the Library’s Quiet Study Room. Completed interviews are transferred to DVDs, one of which is given to the participating veteran or civilian, one is sent to the Library of Congress, and one is retained in the archives of the Sedona Public Library. Twenty-four of the interviews conducted by our volunteers can be seen and heard on the Library of Congress website at www.loc.gov/vets. Most of our interviews will also be available on DVDs at the reference desk so that they can be viewed in the Library.
According to local project coordinator Jolene Pierson, “We have heard some remarkable stories of personal sacrifice and endurance, humor and sadness, loneliness and adventure, travel and education, friendships made, and careers influenced and enhanced. Some served stateside. Some served overseas. Some served distinguished careers without ever experiencing combat. Some survived the most horrific battles of these wars and have shared stories of how they were able to cope with their experiences.
“Some quietly did their duty without much official recognition or appreciation, still knowing that their job was an essential part of the war effort. For every soldier on the front lines, there were nine others doing jobs that assured that the one could do his job; including civilians who actively supported war efforts as defense industry workers, flight instructors, and medical volunteers, and the stories of those who served behind the scenes are also an important part of the record.”
Local veterans include a Navy Top Gun pilot; a female pilot who flew a plane towing a target for anti-aircraft artillery training during WWII; a Korean war medic; a soldier returning for a second tour of duty in Afghanistan; a civilian aircraft designer; a career soldier who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; a witness to the famous flag raising on Iwo Jima; a survivor of the Battle of Bastogne; a participant in the raid on Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest hideout in Germany; a woman who enlisted in the Marines because she admired the uniform; and many more. Civilians interviewed include an aircraft designer, a defense industry production line worker, a Red Cross nurse, and a USO entertainer. We invite you to add your story to this growing legacy.
If you are a veteran or a civilian who was involved in the war effort, if you know a veteran who should participate in the Veterans History Project, or if you are interested in joining our volunteer group, please contact Jolene Pierson at 282-7999 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our local project. To learn more about the national Veterans History Project, visit the website of the Library of Congress at www.loc.gov/vets.
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Virginia Volkman is Director of the Sedona Public Library.