Secretary of State Jesse White is calling on all veterans in Illinois to share their story with the Illinois Veterans’ History Project. The project honors Illinois veterans by documenting and preserving their experiences. With this initiative, White believes future generations will have a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices Illinois veterans have made.
“The Illinois Veterans’ History Project provides a place to honor our veterans as well as a memorial for those who have served our country,” said White. “It is my hope that the contributions of these veterans will live on and their experiences will not be forgotten.”
White, who served as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, was also a member of the Illinois National Guard and a reservist. As State Librarian and Archivist, White initiated the Illinois Veterans’ History Project in 2005 in conjunction with the Library of Congress to provide a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois veterans and their families.
Currently, there are over 6,300 records, submitted by veterans or their loved ones. Over 500 personal history videos are archived online via the Illinois Veterans History Project YouTube channel including Secretary White’s own video testimony.
To participate in the Illinois Veterans’ History Project, veterans or their family members can obtain an Illinois Patriot Information Form from the Secretary of State’s office. Informational materials and Illinois Patriot Information Forms have also been distributed to public libraries throughout the state.
Interested persons may also print their own copies by downloading a PDF version of the form. For more information about the Illinois Veterans’ History Project, visit: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/public/veteransproject.html.