Create a lasting visual legacy with the Veterans History Project
Author: Kerry Ward
Each Memorial Day our nation remembers and honors the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. May we never forget that all gave some, and some gave all to preserve this country. As our nation reflects on the costs of freedom, those who lost someone have an opportunity to come together and share the stories of their heroes.
TAPS offers a space for survivors to join together and celebrate the lives of those lost, and remind us all to live to our fullest on their behalf. These stories of sacrifice and service are woven into the stories of survivors with daily reminders to learn, grow, love and live. There is now an opportunity to share that story with others, so that they may know your loved one, and be inspired by their experiences.
The Veterans History Project invites survivors to share their loved one’s story and preserve their legacy so that your family, historians, researchers and future generations will come to know your loved one and be inspired by their actions.
Romeo Vela is shown being interviewed by Veterans History Project staff at the TAPS National Survivor Seminar in 2018. Photo courtesy of the Veterans History Project
"I benefited so much from doing that (interview). I didn’t know if it would shake me up, but all it did was benefit me. What a tremendous way to honor Jimmy." — Sally Brauer, who shared the story of her husband Jimmy Mac Brasher . Photo courtesy of the Veterans History Project
Stephanie Keegan holds up a photo of her son, Daniel. The photo is now a part of the Veterans History Project collection at the Library of Congress. Photo courtesy of the Veterans History Project
"Somehow Denny’s death [has] some meaning if his letters could be a part of history. I wanted others to know how he felt about being in Vietnam." — Barbara Martin, who shared about her brother Dennis Keith Martin. Photo courtesy of the Veterans History Project
Share Your Story
There are two ways to participate and share your story. If you are attending the 25th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar this week in Arlington, Virginia, we invite you to document memories of your loved one through a 30-minute or longer recoded oral history interview. Staff will be onsite at the TAPS Media Room ready to record your story. Through participating in an oral history session, your remembrances, and your loved one’s legacy, will forever be preserved at our national library – The Library of Congress. This story will live on not only with family members, but also for researchers, historians and future generations to learn about selfless service and sacrifice.
Survivors can consider donating original photos, letters, maps, diaries, military documents, with and /or a 30-minute or longer oral history. Understanding that you may not want to part with these original materials, we hope you consider bringing them and speaking about their significance on camera so that others may share in your memories. Oral histories tell the stories that history books and TV news cannot quite grasp—the personal ones. Email email@example.com to schedule a time to be interviewed during the weekend seminar, or call 202-707-1196.
If you would like to submit your own recorded history, you can do so from home. Reach out so that we can provide you with the Veterans History Project Field Kit, draft questions and explain the process of recording your story. The oral history interview will cover the full arc of your loved one’s life as well as offer a platform for you to share your reflections.
Participating in the Veterans History Project is simple, meaningful and creates a lasting legacy. The Project is more interested in the warrior than the war, and we are committed to making sure your hero is remembered and honored.
Kerry Ward is a Gold Star Liaison Specialist with the Veterans History Project, which falls under the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The project aims to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American veterans so that future generations may know their stories.