Local Residents Participate in National Program to Keep Veterans Stories Alive

Jan 7, 2008 Issues: Veterans

(Washington D.C.) - Area residents are taking part in a national program to preserve United States veterans’ stories for future generations.  The Southfield Veterans Commission (SVC) is taking the lead in collecting veterans’ histories as part of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, a program to preserve first-hand accounts from America’s wartime veterans and civilians that supported the armed forces during war time.  The Veterans History Project is collecting audio- and video-recorded oral histories, along with other first-hand materials such as memoirs, photographs, diaries and letters. 

“When I first heard about this program, I knew it was something in which our Commission would want to engage,” said SVC Chairman Daniel Brightwell.  “It’s exciting to contribute the stories of folks right here in Southfield to a fantastic national program.  These veterans provide incredible first hand accounts of landmark events in American history, and it’s important that we keep these stories alive for future generations.” 

After receiving supporting materials from Congressman Levin’s office, the Southfield Veterans Commission began video recording 30 minute interviews with veterans on November 14th for submission to the Library of Congress.  The SVC is collecting histories each Wednesday afternoon at the Southfield Public Library.  The Commission’s goal is to have collected 50 histories in the next six months, a goal they expect to exceed at their current rate.  The next recorded interviews will take place at 1:30 and 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, January 9th in the conference room of the Southfield Public Library.  News media is welcome to attend.

“These veterans’ stories are part of America’s story,” said Rep. Levin.  “It is important that present generations always understand that our nation’s greatness and freedom are a gift to us built from the honor and sacrifice of those who came before.  We can never fully repay our veterans for their service and sacrifice, but we pay tribute by preserving history and we are educated by remembering it.”

Any wartime military veteran or civilian who supported troops in wartime that would like to have his or her story recorded by the Southfield Veterans Commission, or anyone that can provide time or video recording equipment to the SVC can contact Daniel Brightwell at 248-796-4VET (248-796- 4838) or southfieldvets@cityofsouthfield.com

Other veterans groups, schools or any individuals or organizations that would like to take part in the Veterans History Project independently of the SVC can contact Congressman Sander Levin’s office at 202-225-4961 or email libby.benton@mail.house.gov.