Veterans Day at the Atlanta History Center Highlights Voices of Veterans

Veteran’s Oral Histories Are The Cornerstone of Veterans Park, Expanded Oral History Collection Initiatives, And Free Evening Program Sponsored by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta, GA – History, at its core, is more than dates and timelines and outcomes. History is ultimately grounded in the stories, and experiences, of people and their daily affairs. Therefore, recording and preserving individuals’ voices and stories through oral history initiatives allows them to become a valuable collection of - and connection to - our country’s history. 

Perhaps one of the most poignant collections of oral histories belongs to our country’s veterans, who possess first-hand the rich experience and history of military service. When our country’s military history is told through the voices of veterans, the past is brought to life in clearer and more compelling means than history books, classrooms, news accounts, or historical narratives.

The Atlanta History Center is proud to work in collaboration with veterans associations and national oral history projects like the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, and the Military Voices Initiative through StoryCorps at the Atlanta History Center.  Through these partnerships, and support of donations from the community, we are able to preserve oral history interviews with Georgia and regional veterans, ensuring their voices become powerful tools to educate future generations on our country’s military history.

As one of the founding and contributing partners of the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center, the Atlanta History Center has contributed more than 400 interviews of American war veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, as well as civilians’ stories who were actively involved in supporting war efforts.  All Veterans History Project partners send the full recordings and transcripts to the Library of Congress, however, only a small portion of the submitted interviews are accessible online. 

Through a recent gift from the Scott Hudgens Family Foundation, the James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center will now be able to preserve and provide free online access to over 600 hours of personal stories of U.S. combat veterans. In addition, the gift allows the History Center to catalog 424 digitized oral history interviews of U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine, Merchant Marine, Coast Guard Veterans, and civilians collected between 1999 and 2013. The project is expected to be available online late 2014.  For more information on participating in the Veterans History Project, email VeteransHistoryProject@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com

Veterans Day Program Highlights:

This Veterans Day, the Atlanta History Center highlights veterans and features their personal stories as we remember, celebrate and honor their commitment and sacrifice.  Active and retired military, veterans, and up to five members of their families receive free admission to the Atlanta History Center.  For more information on planning your visit, directions, and hours of operations, visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com. 

 

Veterans Park at the Atlanta History Center

Special Ceremony: 11 – 11:30 am

Special Veterans Day Park Hours: 10 am – 7 pm

Free of Charge; Free Parking; Open to all Veterans and the General Public

The new Veterans Park at the Atlanta History Center was formally dedicated Memorial Day 2013 to all of the men and women who have served - and continue to serve - the United States of America.  Funded by a generous grant from The Home Depot Foundation, Veterans Park was designed as a unique gathering place encouraging reflection, personal connections to veterans, and a celebration of the lives of those who have sacrificed to secure our freedom. 

A cornerstone of Veterans Park, and perhaps the most touching personal connection to our country’s military history, are the stories and oral histories of veterans featured on a series of panels throughout the Park. Each panel features a QR code – compatible with any smartphone - allowing visitors to easily access video files of veterans sharing their personal stories, memories, tragedies, and triumphs of their service to our country.

All Atlantans are invited to join veterans in Veterans Park at 11 am for a special ceremony organized by the Atlanta History Center Veterans Steering Committee.  Activities include patriotic music, the raising of the U.S. and P.O.W. flags, singing of the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and a presentation of wreaths by veterans to honor those who have served, and continue to serve, in the armed forces. 

Stories of Sacrifice: Listening to America’s Veterans

Monday, November 11, 2013

7:00 pm, Woodruff Auditorium, McElreath Hall

Commemorate Veterans Day at the Atlanta History Center by hearing firsthand accounts of sacrifice and bravery from the voices of veterans. Sponsored by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this free evening event highlights veterans’ personal stories recorded and preserved by the Atlanta History Center and StoryCorps.

Moderated by Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, these heartwarming and heartbreaking personal stories embrace over sixty years of duty and service to our country in one of the branches of the United States military during both war and peace.

The evening will feature clips of veteran interviews collected through the Atlanta History Center’s Veterans History Project in collaboration with the Library of Congress; StoryCorps Military Voices Initiatives; and a special highlight of a decorated veteran who was recently featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for his service as a “replacement” soldier during World War II. In addition, veterans, civilians, and military families have the opportunity to learn more about participating in recording their own oral histories. 

This program is free. RSVPs are requested. Please call 404.814.4150 or visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/VeteransVoices.     

About Us

The Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum; two historic houses, 1928 Swan House and 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; Kenan Research Center; Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and the Goizueta Gardens, featuring 22 acres of gardens, walkways, paths and trails. In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House located in Midtown Atlanta.