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Veterans History Project

Like many people throughout the country, the staff at Indian Prairie Library is working from home to not only prepare for the reopening of the library, but to deliver quality service to its members right now. Having been isolated for so long, I have had time to think about all the people in essential careers keeping the country running while most of us wait out the pandemic. Of course there are many important people out there, including workers in healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and trucking and delivery. Today, though, I would like to highlight the efforts of our military personnel who have been keeping our country safe.

At Indian Prairie Library, we have been interviewing veterans as a part of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project since 2002, and we have interviewed over 120 veterans. Many interviews stand out in my mind, ranging from sailors who had to abandon ship to soldiers wounded in heavy combat, and even from personnel stationed on the homefront to musicians who entertained the troops. Everyone had a role to play.

If you have the time, I urge you to visit our website at veterans.ippl.info, where you can read and listen to all of these interviews. With National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day coming up on April 9, I would particularly recommend checking out the interviews we have conducted of pows. Three of these were World War II prisoners of war who were in the Air Force and shot down over enemy territory: Robert Atkins, John Baber, and Norman Toft.

Our site includes many other important interviews of the military men and women who risked their lives to keep us safe. As you shelter in place, don't forget to honor our servicemen by listening to their stories.

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