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There’s no better source for learning about key events in history than by talking to those who lived and made it.

When it comes to some of the watershed military moments in this country during the 20th century, however, the sources of that history are becoming fewer. Even though there are about 19 million war veterans living in the United States today, the ranks are thinning by roughly 1,500 every day — particularly among those who served during World War II and in Korea. With each voice that is silenced comes one fewer opportunity for future generations to gain firsthand knowledge for those experiences.

Enter the Veterans History Project, created by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October of 2000. The law charges the American Folklife Center located at the Library of Congress with collecting and preserving audio and video recordings from veterans of their oral histories, as well as letters, diaries, maps, photos and home movies of veterans and those who served in support of their efforts.

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Veterans History Project Needs Your Stories  was originally published on