Remembering: Veterans History Project

It’s Veteran’s Day in the United States. Other countries also honor their veterans. Whether it’s called Veteran’s Day, Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, we dedicate this day to thanks and remembrances for those who have served in an armed service. Now we also have the Veterans History Project. In the U.S., we have national and regional observances for Veterans Day. There are banquets, parades, free meal offers, special discounts, and hundreds of charities through which we try to say thank you to our veterans. As a country, we have become more aware and more grateful to the soldiers who have served in the military since September 11, 2001. But we have other veterans, some of them feel forgotten and underappreciated. We can thank them and make certain they are not forgotten. We need to remember all of our veterans. The Veterans History Project In October 2000, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to create the Veterans History Project (VHP). It is part of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. The program collects and preserves the first-hand stories of America’s wartime veterans, primarily oral histories. VHP collects personal narratives, letters, and visual materials from veterans of World War I (1914-1920); World […]

The Hero of Your Story

A few years back, I decided I would make my living as a writer and would teach a ‘How to Write Fiction’ class at a local community center. It was an awesome experience but I never expected a lesson about being the hero of your story. I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. ~W.B. Yeats I prepared an introduction to myself and the course, a syllabus, ten lessons, in-class and at home exercises for each lesson, and reading assignments.  Once the lessons were written, I rehearsed and rehearsed. Finally, I was ready! Finally, the day arrived. Eight students, ranging from a high schooler to a gray-haired woman of undetermined age, waited for me. I took a deep breath and stepped in front of the class. I welcomed them to the class, introduced myself by name and declared “I am a professional writer.” A hand raised.  A question already? First Question “When did you start calling yourself a professional writer?” the student asked. Intellectually, I had prepared an answer to that question, but emotionally prepared? Not so much. I couldn’t even admit to myself that I had just said it for the […]