The Library of Congress is encouraging people nationwide to collect, preserve, and make accessible the war experiences of the nation’s war veterans.
The presentation for the Veteran’s History Project created by the United States Congress was headed by independent scholar and former UCLA instructor Luisa Del Giudice last Oct. 8 at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center.
Veterans who want to participate in the VHP could do so by sharing their stories through interviews of 30 minutes or more or sending original documents to the Library of Congress.
For civilians, one must look for a veteran willing to do an interview and recall stories of war, also no less than 30 minutes per submission.
Giudice pointed out the significant effects of war throughout the CNMI. “I’ve been impressed while travelling to the various islands here to understand just how much of an impact war has made on the community memory, and it is everywhere around that you are reminded about it. Through the war memorials and peace memorials, the military experience is very much part of the contemporary life,” she said. “So many of the people here—though I’m not sure why, perhaps the consciousness that this is such a key spot on the Pacific map for defense—that encourages people to be actively involved.”
Giudice shared that not only will VHP prove to be a valuable historical reference, but is also a good therapeutic experience for the veteran. “It is important for processing the experience of war, and sometimes it is therapeutic to be able to speak to an empathetic listener, to know that your story is valued, that someone is taking the time to learn about the realities of war from those who fought in the war and supported the effort as well,” said Giudice.
The VHP is a project created by the United States Congress in 2000, is part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
For more information, visit the VHP website at www.loc.gov/vets.