American Legion Post 80

American Legion Post 80 veteran Loren Barnes coordinated a Memorial Day service at Oakland Cemetery in New Richmond.

If you know a veteran, especially if he or she served in WWII, Korea or Vietnam, please encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity to record their story coming to the New Richmond Civic Center on Monday, May 22.

Professional interviewers from the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior will be traveling to the Civic Center to work with staff from Friday Memorial Library to interview and record veteran’s stories for the Veterans Oral History Collective project.

The Bong Center, a nonprofit organization, opened in 2002 dedicated to WWII Air Force ace Dick Bong of Poplar. Bong flew more than 200 missions in his P-38 Lightning, downing 40 enemy fighters over the Pacific, the most by any U.S. pilot before or since.

The mission of the Bong Center is to “preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.”

Personal stories and memories told by the soldiers who lived them have proven to be one of the most impactful ways to teach young people about the history and complexities of war. So often, those stories go to the grave without veterans ever having had the opportunity or peace of mind to share them with family members or friends.

The personal stories and memories of local veterans recorded at the Civic Center will be added to the Bond audio archive of oral histories and made available to the public for a variety of purposes including research, publication, radio or video documentaries, exhibitions, dramatization, education and other forms of public presentation.

Veterans need to register in advance as there are a limited number of interview times available. 

Interviews are one hour in length. Upon registering, participants will need to complete a questionnaire and release form. Veterans will also need to provide their DD214 and picture(s) of themselves in service. 

After their interview, veterans will receive a copy of the recording in their preferred format. 

Copies of the interviews will be used for Bond Center exhibits and also made available to the New Richmond Library, Recollection Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

To sign up and for questions, contact New Richmond Librarian Nora Allen at 715-243-0431 or by email at noraa@newrichmodnlibrary.og.

The deadline for signing up is May 15.

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