St. Joseph vets to be honored, share stories

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Capital News Service
LANSING– Veterans in St. Joseph County will be honored and have the opportunity to share their experiences with friends and family Nov. 9-11.
In Sturgis, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1355 will host a luncheon for veterans on Nov. 10 in honor of Veterans Day. Free soup and sandwiches will be available to anyone who served in the U.S. military. Donations will be accepted for the meals, and families are encouraged to attend.
“I think it shows the community the hall is here for a purpose,” said Karen Falkenstein, head bartender of the post. “We honor our veterans and thank them for our freedom by doing something like this.”
Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, is Nov. 11, the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. Today, it is a day of honoring all Americans who have served in foreign wars.
Victor Palmer, a World War II veteran and member of American Legion Post 138 in White Pigeon said it’s beneficial to the veterans and younger generations to hear firsthand what happened to those who were in the wars, and Veterans Day activities are something to help that happen.
“I used to go to the schools in Sturgis and tell them about World War II,” Palmer said. “But now, I’m getting close to 80, getting older, so it’s getting more and more difficult to do. I’d like to be able to tell young people.”
In Lansing, the Michigan Veterans History Project Oral History Workshop, part of Veterans History Day, will be held at the Michigan Library and Historical Center to help veterans and their families learn to preserve the firsthand accounts of veterans’ experiences.
“People who have stories to tell are dying every single day,” said William Anderson, director of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). “And it’s sometimes easy to do an interview with these people, but more laborious to do a transcript of the interview. We’re using technology to change that.”
The workshop, presented by the Friends of Michigan History, is co-sponsored by the Michigan Oral History Association, Michigan State University Museum and HAL.
The workshop will provide information on the national Veterans History Project and the Library of Congress, which coordinates the national project.
According to Mark Hoffman, coordinator for the Veterans History Project, many veterans will attend along with people interested in the preservation of oral history.
“All are invited to this event,” Hoffman said. “It’s a two-track program, with sessions scheduled for both novice and experienced oral historians. There’s plenty of room at the party for everyone.”
A tribute to the veterans will be held Nov. 10, sponsored by the Friends of Michigan History and the Military Order of the World Wars. Veterans, patriotic, civic and Scout groups are encouraged to participate in the Massing of the Colors part of the day’s activities.
© 2002, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism

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