Students Preserve WWII Veteran Stories

Emily Hammill

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Have you, as a middle or high school student, ever felt like you are too young to make an actual difference in the world? The truth is, you can make a difference no matter how young you are.

Take these high school students for an example: high school students from West Springfield High in Fairfax County, Virginia are doing just that. They are finding surviving World War II veterans and interviewing them about their experiences in the war and in life. The group of students aim to preserve legacies of those who served and honor their sacrifices by recording the veterans’ stories.

“It’s imperative that we get these stories now and preserve them. Not just for the students, but for the family members,” said Jim Percoco, former teacher and director of the program.

Throughout the year, the students find and visit with the remaining WWII veterans to interview them and film their stories. The interviews get very emotional for both the students and the veterans as they recount their struggles and experiences during the war. A program like this greatly helps the veterans since many of them have never shared their stories with anyone. It can be a therapeutic experience for the veterans that can also give them some peace knowing that someone out there cares about preserving their legacies and about them.

If you read this, and thought, “Wow, I could do something like this,” remember, that you can make a difference.  An easy way to do this would be to call a retirement home and ask if you can visit with any residents. You are never too young to change the world!

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