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War is hell.” 
General William Tecumseh Sherman

From the Civil War to the present military conflicts, war continues to be hell both on those who take part, and those who support them.  Whether we are defending our country or fighting on behalf of others, there is always a price to pay. 

The Library of Congress is archiving first-hand accounts of American war veterans and civilian workers who support them via The Veterans History Project.  From World War I to the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, these stories provide a valuable resource to researchers, students and teachers.  The Project also collects original memoirs, military documents, collections of letters, and original photographs and artwork. 

Do you know someone who has served on behalf of the United States and would like to contribute to the Project?

Visit http://www.loc.gov/vets/ and you can download The Veterans History Project Field Kit, which includes interview tips and resources, and tips for veterans who are telling the story themselves.

Who will you be honoring this Veteran’s Day?

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Joe audrey pop virginia 1949For some people, spending time with family during the holidays does not warm the cockles of their hearts.  There are arguments, disputes, old resentments resurface, lives are judged and criticized, etc.  There is a way, however, to ease the emotional pain of the holiday season. 

Who, in your family, is sincerely cherished by all; someone who is truly respected and held in high regard?  Consider giving a tribute to him or her this holiday season.  A tribute is something the entire family can be involved in, both separately and together. 

When I am hired to put together a personal history, every single person in the family – even the ones who aren’t speaking to anyone – happily donate their time for an interview, because they want to preserve that relative’s memory.  They actually move beyond their issues with the family, and focus on the much loved relative.  When the book is complete, relatives read about the special memories others have – some unique, some shared – about the same individual, and the fondness they once had for each other rises up above the old grudges and disputes.  A healing begins to grow, working its way through each branch and leaf on the family tree.

You have the ability to create a powerful gifted family legacy for future generations.

It begins with one.

Whose life story could you preserve that would reconnect your family?

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