All memories are valuable he or she who remembers writes the history.
These are some headlines and stories from around the country from the past two weeks. There's a veteran right next to you talk to him or her.
A Special Online Story
Four years ago when the show NOW WITH BILL MOYERS first broadcast its update to a D-Day documentary, the Web site inaugurated an online scrapbook of veteran's memories. We have since had hundreds of submissions from veterans of all conflicts and peacetime and their loved ones.
One email, received earlier this year stands out:
You recently featured a veteran on Bill Moyers Now Veterans
Scrapbook by the name of Keith Miller who served on board the
U.S.S.Dixie. I also served on the Dixie and would like to get in touch
with him. Would you be so kind to forward this information to him and ask
him to get in touch with me?
This email made its way from the viewer center at pbs.org to me, Kristin Miller, the Web Producer for this site. I responded to the sender, Mr. Bill McGrath, that I did indeed know the Keith Miller featured in the online scrapbook as he's my father. Since that initial contact Bill McGrath and his wife have visited my parents in Maine. The two sailors from the U.S.S. Dixie poured over Mr. McGrath's photos from their time at sea and in wartime Shanghai. Read more about Keith Miller's and Bill McGrath's stories here.
Please send us your memories and we'll add them to the scrapbook. Also, take part in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and preserve history for all. Read more from NOW viewers below:
"History of WWII Gets the Latino Perspective;"
Legacies: Ambitious project comes to L.A. to videotape aging veterans." 'I found myself when I served my country,' one says. LOS ANGELES TIMES, May 27, 2002
"William F. Watterson of Fort Worth never talked about
serving with the 2nd Infantry Division during World War II. And even though his son, Ken, was a Marine in Vietnam, they only discussed war in general terms. So it wasn't until the 50th anniversary of D-Day that William Watterson mentioned that he participated in the invasion, and it wasn't until he died 90 days ago that his family learned that he had been decorated with the Bronze Star." FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM, May 28, 2002
"A graduation six decades in the making"
Project by freshmen culminates in 3 WWII vets receiving diplomas" THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, May 31, 2002
"Daughter finds links to dad's past" She was only 2 when he shipped out for the South Pacific during World War II. She was 4 when he died aboard the USS Indianapolis, sunk by a Japanese submarine two weeks before the war ended., THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, May 31, 2000
Keith Miller, served on the Destroyer Uhlman DD687 and the Dixie AD14 in 1944 and 1945
"I tried to enlist as soon as I graduated from high school, but I was only 17 and couldn't get in. At eighteen I enlisted in the Merchant Marine and as soon as I could I transferred into the Navy. The male portion of the 1942 high school class graduated 96. I recall that over 90 served in the various services during the war.
The city of Monongahela, PA, where I grew up, commemorates the service of its citizens who have served during periods of conflict. The Memorial Park will remind you of the Vietnam Memorial Wall and companion memorial plaques and monuments. A commentator stated that Monongahela had more of its population in WWII than any other city of its size. One of my brothers served in Korea and the other in Vietnam."
Carolyn Miller, High School Student in 1944
"Even over 50 years later I have an unfading memory of my first hearing the news of President Roosevelt's death. We were changing classes in our medium small high school (Issaquah, Washington) when the shock wave spread through the halls. We students halted and in a quiet daze asked each other, 'What will our country do now?' We 13, 14, &15, year olds couldn't recall any other president. Suddenly, we felt so leaderless. I can see us standing there in our white saddle shoes, bobby socks, too long skirts and our dads' white shirts standing there stunned. No President Roosevelt and our nation still at war!"
Kristin Miller, daughter
"The first story that I remember my father telling about his service in World War II seems vaguely silly today. He always makes fun of people who drink coffee turning up his nose. I asked why and he told me that as a young radio petty officer in the Navy his berth was right above the mess and coffee was the first thing he smelled every morning. He was barely 18 and had never been on a boat before, much less a destroyer in the middle of the ocean. He was many times during his tour of duty. Today I know, and appreciate, much more about 'my father's war.' He was in the Pacific theater and landed in Shanghai soon after the liberation."