Whether you have a family member or friend who served in World War II or even if you just enjoy reading the exploits of those who served, you’ve likely tripped over a repository of veterans stories in your travels across the internet. The different websites housing the stories have different goals … perhaps the best known is the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project which has a long history and thousands of documented interviews, whether on paper, on audio, or video. All are open for viewing or for research and the project includes veterans stories from all of America’s wars up to the most recent.
But the one repository I’d like to call attention to today is the Stories Behind the Stars Project. This is a project founded only a few years ago by Don Milne. His intent is to capture the stories of ALL of the 400,000 American soldiers, sailors, and marines who perished during the Second World War. Since 2020, I have helped research and write 150 profiles. Thankfully, Don (who has written over a thousand himself) has enlisted the help of a couple of hundred volunteers to help with the project administration and the research and writing.
Don has a self-imposed deadline of 2025 to complete all 400,000 stories. That year the country will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. And our fallen, wherever they are interred will have more than a name and a date of birth and date of death on their gravestone. They’ll have a photo and a story providing as much available information as the group of dedicated volunteers can find.
Recently, Don compiled an infographic (see below) to report on the group’s progress against his ten steps to success. What’s remarkable are all the steps with a “DONE” attached to them. But, there remains much to do.
If you would like to know more, check out the group’s website and Facebook pages. And if you would like to write a story for one or more WWII fallen, please contact Don Milne, Founder and Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org