John McCain, (front, right) with his squadron. John S. McCain, III Collection, AFC2001/001/07736, Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Calls for Veterans, Veterans’ Families to Contribute Their Stories
— Monica Mohindra, director, Library of Congress Veterans History Project
WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, September 15, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — In acknowledgment of National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day, the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress is asking veterans and veterans’ family members to consider contributing their or their loved one’s stories to the national collection of personal remembrances.
Created by Congress in 2000, the Veterans History Project’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the first-person recollections of U.S. military veterans, so that future generations may hear directly from those who served and better understand what they did, saw and felt during their service. According to the U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 81,000 U.S. service members remain missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the Gulf Wars/other conflicts.
A harrowing example of one such story in the Veterans History Project archive is the John McCain collection, which details the mission that led to his capture by the Vietnamese army. McCain shared in his 2003 interview that during his five and one-half years of captivity, “I was privileged to observe a thousand acts of courage and compassion and love. It is a great honor of my life.” By contributing his story to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, McCain’s experience is preserved in his own words.
“Our collection includes over 4,000 stories of veterans either held captive by the enemy or deemed missing in action. For many of these veterans, this part of their service, marked by sacrifice and suffering, is difficult to discuss, and their important perspective may go unstated for years,” said Monica Mohindra, director, Veterans History Project. “On POW/MIA Recognition Day, we ask these veterans’ loved ones, families and friends to help facilitate sharing these important stories with us, so they can forever be preserved as part of our nation’s collective history.”
Each veteran’s experience and outcome are unique, and their perseverance and determination deserve to be heard and preserved. Fully accessible and ever-growing, the Veterans History Project allows participants to be part of a conversation that is not only informative but inspirational. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/vets.
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About the Veterans History Project:
The Veterans History Project was created in 2000 by Congress as part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. VHP’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of U.S. military veterans, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they did, saw and felt. VHP relies on volunteers to submit veterans’ audio or video-recorded oral history interviews, original photographs, diaries, journals and other correspondence to be added to the permanent library collection. To learn more about the project and download a how-to field kit, visit www.loc.gov/vets.
By contributing his story to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, John McCain’s experience is preserved in his own words for future generations.