TILTON — Bob Stevens, an 89-year-old World War II Seabee currently residing in Manchester, has partnered with the NH Veterans' Home and the Liberty Independent Media Project to continue his Veteran's Forum series of oral history interviews, produced in cooperation with the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project.
The US Congress established the Veterans History Project in 2000 as part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The project aims to collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal accounts of American wartime veterans so future generations may hear directly from the veterans and better understand the realities of war.
Stevens got involved with the Veterans History Project shortly after its inception and, while still living in Massachusetts, he began producing The Veteran's Forum at the Pittsfield (Mass.) Community Television station PCTV. As host, he has interviewed veterans who served in any of the wars, from World War II to the present day. The veterans have shared their memories of war, many of them doing so for the first time.
"The reactions of the vets, families, friends, and viewing public has been very heartwarming and highly complimentary," said Stevens. "Many of the vets have told me that the act of telling/sharing their memories has enabled them to 'unload' memories that they have kept locked up for these many years. The stories are first-hand accounts of what really happened, told by the guys and gals who made it happen."
Now Stevens is working with the Liberty Independent Media Project to continue that series of interviews in New Hampshire. He will be conducting initial interviews at the NH Veterans' Home and is asking all war veterans — male or female — to consider sharing their stories. Copies of those interviews will go to the participants and their families as well as to the Library of Congress, and the shows also will be distributed to public access stations and libraries, as well as appearing on the Liberty Project website, www.libertymedianh.org.