We live in the present, plan for the future, and maybe have a conversational understanding of the past. Most of us have either an immediate family member or distant relative who served in the uniform of the United States military.
The Clinton County Veterans Oral History Project’s mission is to record and preserve for posterity, the personal experiences of the county’s heroes, in their own words, and make those recordings available to the public.
The first of those interviews are now available for viewing online, courtesy of the Wilmington Public Library — at www.wilmington.lib.oh.us/veteran-oral-history/ — which receives and posts, with each veteran’s permission, the unedited interviews.
Edited versions and personal artifacts, if submitted, will be archived for viewing at the Clinton County History Center in the very near future.
All veterans, whether service was in a war zone or in support elsewhere — during World War II up through Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom — are invited and encouraged to share your personal experiences, as only you can do, via this venue.
History is most informative when told by those who lived it. A citizenry and governmental leaders can not evaluate the societal effects of incidents such as war, without reviewing historical data and personal experiences.
Therefore, the importance of this project, ratified by the United States Congress in 2000, can not be overstated.
As the community and the nation celebrate and thank veterans on Veterans Day Monday, Nov. 11, veterans have the opportunity to memorialize their real life experiences for future generations to evaluate the consequences, positive and negative, of war.
To participate, call Shelby Boatman at the Clinton County History Center at 937-382-4684 to schedule either a daytime or evening appointment; or for additional information and questions, call Paul Butler at 937-283-5995.