PORTLAND – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff
Merkley on Nov. 10 announced his office is taking part in the Library of
Congress American Folklife Center’s Veterans History Project to help
record and share the unique stories of Oregon veterans from all walks of life.
“Oregonians have stepped up to serve in the United
States Armed Forces for generations, and many of us have family members,
friends, and loved ones who have answered this call to
service,” Merkley said in a news release. “Capturing the
firsthand, lived experiences of veterans in our communities is an important
way we can honor their sacrifices and dedication. That’s why I am teaming
up with the Veterans History Project to help Oregon veterans and Gold Star
Family members share their service stories, while providing a powerful
volunteer opportunity for Oregonians across the state. Together, we will help
ensure the voices of Oregon veterans are preserved in American history for
Monica Mohindra, director of the Veterans History
Project said they were pleased to welcome Merkley and his staff, as well
as other volunteers across the state who have committed to recording the
stories of veteran Oregonians.
“Their dedicated efforts are inspiring and we eagerly
look forward to this momentous preservation and amplification of Oregon
veterans’ voices and experiences,” she said.
The Veterans History Project was created by Congress in
2000 to collect and preserve the first-person narratives from U.S.
military veterans from World War I through the present. The goal is for
future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the
realities of military service.
In addition to audio and video recorded oral history
interviews from veterans?and Gold Star Families,?VHP?accepts and makes
accessible memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries,
maps, and other historical documents from veterans. The collections
are?accessible online, and are used by millions of researchers, authors,
filmmakers, students, teachers, and more each year.
To date, VHP has collected over 114,000 individual
accounts from veterans who have served our country, and Merkley’s office is
building a team of volunteers to interview and gather original
contributions from Oregon veterans.