Making History Project
"Preserving Veterans' Stories"
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

Veterans Oral History Interviews

D-Day June 6, 2018

2018 D-Day Celebrations

Celebrations in Sainte Mere Eglise

Normandy Where it All Began

It is hard to imagine but it has been eight years since my first trip to Normandy France for D-Day. Today represents the 74th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

All told, I have been in Normandy three times and it never gets old. To be in the presence of greatness and at the location of such a history-altering event is truly humbling.

It was in this electric atmosphere that I came up with the idea to preserve soldier’s tales through oral history interviews. I only hope that I am doing a good enough job in capturing these stories so as to preserve this lightning in the bottle for future generations.

A Time for Reflection

While there is plenty of pomp and circumstance today, let us not forget the true reason for why we celebrate. Many brave men, sacrificed their youth, blood, limb, mind or their life altogether for the liberation of France. So while beer and wine flow liberally today in Normandy, there should always be at least a tiny moment dedicated towards the somber remembrance for those that did not return. Many a family is missing a father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or husband today.

Never forget their ultimate sacrifice. For as all soldiers know, only the dead know the end of war. May they now rest in peace.

World War II Veterans to Return to Normandy

D-Day, Normandy FranceWe are seeking, in conjunction with a local French organization, World War II Veterans who served in Normandy who would like to return to Normandy for the annual D-Day commemorations during the first week of June.

In order to qualify, the Veteran must be able to provide proof of service in Normandy during World War II, which normally can be achieved with a copy of the discharge papers.

The French organization is providing free of charge all lodging, meals, and transportation while in Normandy. Additionally, Veterans will be provided an escort to get to events and well-deserved places of honor at those events.

Financial assistance is available to cover transportation to France on a limited basis for those in need.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Time is short and places are filling up. If there is any interest please contact Patrick Russell ASAP by email at patrick@makehistoryproject.com

Annual Board Meeting

Annual Board MeetingWe held our annual board meeting this month. Prominent in our discussion was the project work for the past year related to the National Endowment for the Humanities grant on War and Trauma at Governor’s State University. Below, you will find one of the public outcomes of the grant, a televised town hall meeting between students and veterans on the topic of combat trauma.

Another milestone this year was attendance at the 82nd Airborne reunion in Fort Bragg for the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment. For the first time, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Panama veterans mingled with our current paratroopers and shared their experiences. Three additional oral history interviews of veterans were obtained at the reunion as well as the making of some new friends.

Finally, future goals for the upcoming year were set. First and foremost was the need to obtain more help, specifically from students and volunteers to assist with the editing of interviews. Additional opportunities exist for student interns to help with marketing, social media, and website updates. Other ideas were proposed for some formal fundraising initiatives, all of which are needed for the long-term growth of the project. Those interested in helping are encouraged to contact us.