As families across western and central Wisconsin celebrated Memorial Day, it is important to take some time to reflect on the sacrifices the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and their families have made to protect the freedoms we hold dear.
Since the beginning of American history the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines of our Armed Forces have stepped up to defend our freedoms when called on to risk their lives to make our country great. Regardless of what one thinks about the wars that they fought in, we all must agree that our men and women in uniform have responded to the call of duty and performed with honor and dignity, and their stories and experiences should be preserved for future generations.
To preserve the experiences of our country’s veterans, I authored legislation creating the Veteran’s History Project. The Veteran’s History Project uses volunteer interviews to record the experiences of our veterans. These stories are recorded and entered into the permanent collection of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center. It is these living testaments that provide the most powerful record of the sacrifice and hardship of our nation at peace and war.
Today, the VHP is the largest oral history collection with more than 100,000 stories. We can keep growing the project. I urge everyone to ask veterans they know to record their stories. This is the last ask of a grateful nation to our veterans. What better way to preserve this significant history of what it was like to protect our nation while honoring our veterans at the same time.