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For the 19 million veterans living in the United States, returning home from war was only half the battle.

According to the Veterans History Project approximately 1,600 veterans die every day, and with their deaths invaluable memories are also lost forever. The VHP works to document the experiences of military personnel of all ranks and from all branches of service — the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard and Merchant Marine — as well as the contributions of civilian volunteers, support staff and war industry workers, according to a press release.

Passed via the unanimous approval of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Oct. 27, 2000, Public Law 106-380 called upon the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to “collect and preserve audio- and videotaped oral histories, along with documentary materials such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and home movies of America’s war veterans and those who served in support of them,” according to the Library of Congress website.

In more than a decade since that call to action, the VHP has worked diligently to pursue its priority of historical preservation, working in close conjunction with public libraries and other civic institutions on the local level.

As one of the busiest locations within the Yavapai Library Network, Sedona Public Library was the perfect candidate for partnership with the VHP, due in large part to Sedona’s reputation as a retirement community with a large population of senior citizens. To that end, the library has hosted a series of “Coffee With a Vet” events on a regular basis, with community members invited to the library for free coffee, cookies and conversation ....


 


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