Magazine article VFW Magazine

Tell Your Story to the Library of Congress

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Tell Your Story to the Library of Congress

Article excerpt

Dedicated to collecting the first-hand accounts of all veterans from World War I to present day, the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project (VHP) was created to preserve the memories of wartime veterans. VHP makes those personal accounts accessible to the public, which allows future generations to hear directly from veterans and better understand a veteran's service.

Established in 2000, VHP has more than 105,000 collections already archived and still is accepting new collections every day. VHP Director Karen Lloyd, a retired colonel who served 28 years in the Army, said VHP is proud of that number.

"But it's only because of volunteers across the nation that reached out to the veterans in their lives and listen to their stories," Lloyd said. "That has enabled us to have so many collections, so far."

Participating in the program is simple. Veterans can tell their stories through personal narratives, artwork inspired by their service, photographs and journals. The Library of Congress only will accept original copies of photographs and journals, but Lloyd said all collections are preserved and become a "permanent fixture" of the Library of Congress.

"Veterans also get the commitment that their collections will be accessible for not only your family but for future generations of Americans," Lloyd said. "The Library of Congress is everyone's library."

Lloyd said it's important for veterans to share their stories and that every veteran has an interesting story to tell.

"Think about all the movies, books, documentaries and TV shows that use war as a backdrop - it's not the war that gets people's interest, it's the individual stories," Lloyd said. …

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