Veterans Needed for School's Oral History Project
A quick chat with a Naperville newsmaker
A retired high school history teacher, Chuck Geitner is scheduling Naperville North High School students to interview veterans for the Veterans Oral History Project associated with the Library of Congress. His objective is to have all American veterans tell their stories to preserve their history.
Why did Congress establish the Veterans Oral History Project?
A resolution to establish the project was passed in 2000 because members of Congress noted there were 1,500 World War II veterans dying nationwide each day. That made quite an impression. Congress realized we were losing history, and if we didn't do something, much of the personal history of our nation would be lost forever and we would be poorer as a result.
Why are you in need of veterans?
I am looking for a large number of veterans so the students at Naperville North will have the same rewarding experience that Naperville Central students had the prior two years when they conducted the interviews. We need at least 60 veterans at this time, particularly WWII and Korean vets.
Why did you become involved?
When I taught history, I would include little things about serving in Korea, but not much because you only had a certain number of days to teach the textbook. Yet, when there was an opportunity, I tried to personalize the story. I believe that is the part of teaching that impacts students and adults more. This project is an opportunity to get those feelings that need to be attached to what veterans have done.
Why is it important?
Students do a good job reading textbooks, taking tests and learning. But when you read a textbook, you do not get the personal story or the appreciation for veterans that you do with an interview. …