The “Greatest Generation” Recording Stories Before They’re Gone

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 07 February 2012

Atria Senior Living did it with recipes. Nationwide, retirement communities participating in the Spirit of ’45 campaign are doing it with photos, letters, and stories. Seniors around the world do it every day — in assisted living, around the dinner table, over the phone, in StoryCorps booths, or in journals — as they should.

Storytelling is a powerful thing, particularly for those in the twilight of life: preserving memories for future generations and recording their histories before they’re gone.

And time is truly of the essence as World war II veterans are dying at the rate of 740 a day, according to a report from last night’s broadcast of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

In the piece, residents of Kendal at Hanover, a senior living community in New Hampshire, offered glimpses into a new book, World War II Remembered. Here, 56 individuals (both veterans and those who were home and elsewhere during the “era that changed the world”) shared poignant and richly detailed tales of war, of survival, the changing fabric of society and home, of time in Japanese internment camps, and so much more:

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Want to read more about the significance of storytelling? Check out these posts: ‘Tis the Season for Telling Stories, Sharing Secrets and Ideas for Celebrating Family History Month in Assisted Living.

There are 5 Comments about this post

  1. Terri says,

    Where can I buy this book?? I heard about it last night on the news..It is a great thing to do..


    on 07 February 2012 / 12:00 PM

  2. I just found it on Amazon via a Google Search. Let me know if you need the link!

    Thanks for your comment. It’s definitely a great project; I’m so glad the national news highlighted it!


    on 07 February 2012 / 2:57 PM

  3. I saw this story on the Nightly News. I would like to do a feature on my blog, please. You can contact me at my email and or via my website.


    on 08 February 2012 / 7:57 PM

  4. Richard Stewart says,

     The WWII War Brides Association would like to announce to the press that we will be celebrating our16th annual reunion in Boston, MA at the Hilton Boston Back Bay in August from Thursday, August 16th through Monday, August 20th. The WWII War Brides Association is a 501 (c)(7) nonprofit nationalorganization of foreign-born brides and grooms of U.S. military personnel who served during World War II and any conflict up to the present time. Our membership also includes family members (direct descendents of WWII War Brides): Spouses, Children, Grandchildren and their Spouses. Our Association represents 22 different countries.
    Diane Reddy, President
    WWII War Brides Association


    on 22 July 2012 / 8:32 PM

  5. Thanks for letting us know about this great organization! Best to you on the 16th anniversary celebration.


    on 23 July 2012 / 11:04 AM


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