U.S. Military Academy at West Point Launches
“Center for Oral History”
WEST POINT, N.Y., December 2, 2008 – The United States
Military Academy at West Point, whose graduates are
commissioned 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Army, has launched
an ambitious Center for Oral History to serve as a living archive
on the experiences of American soldiers in war and peace.
The Center aims to be a powerful learning tool for West Point cadets
and an important research center for historians, as well as a
destination for the public to gain greater understanding of the
essential and unique calling of the U.S. soldier.
The Center for Oral History will exist largely online, with high definition
video and digital audio files, easing access for
everyone from campus cadets to scholars, journalists and
interested students half a world away.
One of the Center’s first projects has been to interview members
of West Point’s Class of 1967, who, upon graduation, were sent
almost immediately to the war in Vietnam. Another has been to
interview soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan as
part of a comprehensive, anecdotal account of those current
campaigns. Researchers are also gathering material from
veterans of World War II, Vietnam and the so-called “forgotten
war” in Korea.
By definition, the Center will be a work in
perpetual progress, continuously updated as history unfolds.
The objective is to assemble an unrivaled video, audio
and text record of military life – in the field, as well as in the
classroom and also the “war room,” since the Center hopes to
include interviews with senior Pentagon strategists and former
Secretaries of Defense and State who have helped shape
military and foreign policy.
But its core mission is to capture the personal narratives of those
who have lived the military life. As stated on the Center’s home
page: “Every soldier has a story. Here is where the story is told.”
For more information, click here.