As we pause on this Memorial Day to remember and honor those who have died in America’s wars, this is also an excellent time for the Library of Virginia to call for persons to donate documents, diaries, medals and photographs that will help keep alive the experiences of the 300,000 or so Virginians who served in World War II, 11,000 of whom gave their lives in service to the nation. Because we are losing members of that generation of veterans in large numbers, the opportunity to preserve their personal histories is becoming more critical.
“This `Greatest Generation’ is passing from the scene,” said Sandra Gioia Treadway, librarian of Virginia. “While people are still alive and their records – their letters, diaries, artifacts, medals – are still in family hands, we want to raise awareness that this is history and that this is the perfect place to bring those items.”
Veterans, their spouses, children, and friends are encouraged to donate items to the library. The Library of Virginia has materials dating back to the Revolutionary War and is also involved at present in a statewide effort to collect and digitize documents as part of this year’s state’s Civil War commemoration. The World War II effort is a continuation of the library’s attempts to preserve the memorabilia that forms our social history and to remember the individuals who are as much a part of that history as our prominent leaders.
People interested in donating correspondence, documents, photographs and diaries can call the library (804-692-3795) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.