Americans will pause Wednesday to remember the nation's veterans. But one Library of Congress project is working to ensure veterans' stories are preserved for years to come.
The Veterans History Project is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. It was established on Oct. 27, 2000, by an act of Congress, and has collected more than 99,000 stories of service members. Former Librarian of Congress James H. Billington called it "the largest oral history project in America." The law establishing the project stated its goal was "that Americans will always remember those who served in war and may learn first hand of the heroics, tediousness, horrors, and triumphs of war."
Those accounts are found in the collections through a variety of mediums, including interviews, letters, photographs and drawings. The project contains veterans' accounts from 17 different conflicts, ranging from World War I and the Cold War to the Iraq war and the war on terrorism. Anyone interested in participating in the project must submit a series of forms available on the library's website and send the collection to the Library of Congress.