Veterans Day is approaching, giving us an opportunity to honor our loved ones and ancestors that have fought and made sacrifices for our country and our freedom. One of the most important and meaningful things you can do to celebrate the contributions that veterans have made is to take the time to listen to their stories. If you happen to be close to a WWII veteran, Ancestry.com is now asking for your help doing just that. In a project attempting to record the stories of those that served in WWII, Ancestry is asking for video submissions of interviews done with the former veterans, which they will then store in a searchable database. Here are more details on the project.
In 1973, a catastrophic fire at the National Personnel Records Center outside St. Louis destroyed 80% of the records of U.S. Army personnel discharged November 1912 to January 1960 and 75% of U.S. Air Force personnel discharged September 1947 to January 1964. These records averaged 80-100 pages of info per soldier – and none of them had duplicate copies. Records about the battles these brave soldiers fought in, the ships they sailed on, the medals they received, etc. were lost.
In hopes of recovering those lost accounts, Ancestry.com is launching a special project asking people to interview and share stories from WWII military vets, which you then can submit to them via video. Ancestry.com will then take the videos that have been submitted and place them in a searchable database to help supplement the lost WWII records for these soldiers.
Less than 600,000 of the 16 million American veterans who served in WWII are alive today, and it’s predicted that 50% of remaining WWII Vets will be gone in 3 years and 90% will be gone in 10 years. It’s time that we preserve their histories for generations to come. For more information on the project or to contribute a story, visit: https://www.ancestry.com/veterans
In honor of Veteran’s Day, Ancestry.com is giving 50% off all subscriptions so everyone can learn about the heroes in their own family histories. This promotion will run on November 11th for Veteran’s Day only.