Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saluting America's Veterans

History: a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account;

The definition sounds simple enough, right? A narrative of past events. And what better way to record history then through first hand accounts of those that experienced these events, whatever they might be.

Wouldn't our history books be much better, had someone taken the time to interview Thomas Jefferson? Or what about a reality show on Ben Franklin. Wouldn't it have been awesome to have a panel of Revolutionary War heroes on Oprah? Imagine the stories these guys would tell. Imagine the information you would get. The dates and the timing of certain attacks. How they really felt about the red coats. History is much more vivid, when it comes right from the source. There is no telling how much richer our history would be, had these things been possible. Today they are possible.

With the recent broadcast of Ken Burns' "The War" on PBS there has been an increased awareness in the stories of this country's veterans. Without the help of many dedicated individuals many of these stories would go untold. Fortunately, is an organization dedicated to telling these stories.

In honor of Veteran's Day on November 11th, American Profile, is asking for veterans' stories. The site already has dozens of first hand accounts directly from the mouths of the soldiers who lived the pain and the glory of our american wars.

Still, they're looking for more.

Here is their press release, because frankly, it's best right from the source.


NEW YORK, NY (November 6, 2007) - "Saluting America's Veterans" is sounding a call for veterans' stories this Veterans Day, November 11th.

Launched last month in conjunction with the highly-acclaimed Ken Burns' documentary series on World War II, the website has attracted dozens of personal accounts, each one putting a human face on America's 20th-century conflicts. Friends, family and colleagues are invited to share their memories, appreciation, and recognition of veterans; and veterans are invited to share their own stories of tours of duty and beyond. Anchored by a profile of Burns and exclusive video excerpts from "The War," the living museum has attracted compelling and compassionate accounts. For example:

** A WWII infantry rifleman recalls a grizzled old man in a Philippine refugee camp who kissed each of his American liberators one by one.

** A WWII radioman shares journal entries written in the middle of a battle in the South Pacific, a bullet-by-bullet account during which he muses about what his wife might be doing right then.

**A San Francisco woman describes the shock she gave her boyfriend, a WWII Navy enlistee, when she wangled her way onto a Coast Guard boat and met his ship on its return from two years in the South Pacific.

**A WWII war bride recalls an anxious year spent awaiting word of her POW husband.

** A member of a Vietnam helicopter crew tells a nail-biting tale of rescuing a stranded marine by dangling his legs over the side of his hovering aircraft for the marine on the ground to grab onto.

In addition to posting, viewing, and commenting on personal accounts, visitors can read feature articles about American veterans on both the battlefront and the homefront, including profiles of Cpl. Matthew A. Commons, who was killed in Afghanistan, and Earl Morse, founder of the Honor Flight service that takes veterans free of charge to the war memorials in Washington, D.C.Visitors can help send veterans on Honor Flights not only by making donations directly to the organization, but also by submitting stories and photos; the more stories receives, the more veterans it will sponsor for trips to the war memorials in Washington.

"The extraordinary contributions of America's veterans extend beyond the battlefield, and publishing the personal accounts of service members, friends, family and colleagues is our way of showing our gratitude," said Charlie Cox, editor in chief of American Profile, which created the site. "Contributors to this living museum will help ensure that our veterans get the recognition and respect they deserve."

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