Letter from the Editor

by Tim Holbert

As a supporter of the World War II Veterans Committee, you know of our mission to preserve the history of the World War II generation. Part of that mission is carried out through this publication, which is dedicated to providing an outlet for the veterans of the war to share their own experiences, in their own words.

Equally important, however, is our mission to encourage today’s young people to develop an understanding and appreciation for the bravery and sacrifices made by those who served in World War II—without which, we could not enjoy the freedoms we have today. Throughout the year, the Committee sponsors a number of programs designed to give students the opportunity to learn about, and from, those who served during World War II. Among these is our recently completed summer intern program, during which we welcome several college students into our offices. Throughout their internship, the students research a topic related to our military’s history, interview veterans personally, then write an article to be printed in this publication. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you our intern class for the summer of 2007:

Mohammed Musaed Al-Haroun. Mohammed was born in Washington, DC, and originally from the Middle Eastern country of Kuwait. Growing up, Mohammed has lived in numerous countries, including Kuwait, France, and throughout the United States. Living in so many different areas has influenced Mohammed’s outlook on different cultures. Mohammed is an avid reader, and plans on developing his writing style and pursuing a career in journalism. He currently lives in Ottawa, Canada, where he is a senior in Ashbury College. His article, “An Unstable Past,” on the role of World War II in shaping the Middle East (specifically, Iraq), appears in this issue of World War II Chronicles.

Emily Tibbets. Emily is in her third year at Ashland University, double majoring in Political Science and Electronic Media Production with a minor in Journalism. She is a recipient of Ashland’s Presidential Scholarship and is a participant in the honors program. Emily is also an Ashbrook Scholar in the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, and hopes to return to Washington, DC after graduation to pursue a graduate degree in Media and Public Affairs or Political Science. Emily’s article on the role of media in military history will appear in our next issue.

Ian McConnaughey. Originally from California, Ian is currently a senior at Brigham Young University majoring in Political Science with a minor in Portuguese. He took two years off from school to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Maceio, Brazil, and has since returned home to start his own podcast show at www.americansatire.org. Ian currently writes editorials for several online journals and hopes to be a nationally syndicated radio host in the future. Both of Ian’s grandfathers served in the military and his article, “One Man’s War,” will appear in a future issue.

Each of these interns came to work every day with a tremendously positive attitude, honored to help do their part in telling the stories of our veterans. And we were proud to have them with us.

The World War II Veterans Committee’s youth programming does not end with the summer internships. Each year, at our annual conference over Veterans Day weekend, hundreds of high school and college students are brought in to meet with some of America’s most distinguished veterans. And at the National Memorial Day Parade (sponsored and coordinated by the World War II Veterans Committee and American Veterans Center), over 1,000 high school students and members of youth groups as the Young Marines and National Guard Youth ChalleNGe participate in marching bands, by carrying banners, and by passing out water to spectators. The Committee also sponsors two annual scholarships for students entering college and is currently developing a World War II Curriculum for use in high schools across the country.

Finally, I would like to bring to your attention our annual student essay contest. Each year, in conjunction with our fall conference, the Committee sponsors an essay contest for high school students around the country. These students are asked to research and write the story of a veteran, whether it be a famed hero like Audie Murphy, a distinguished general like Dwight Eisenhower, or even their own grandfather. They can then submit the essay to us by October 15, and be eligible for cash prizes given to the most outstanding essays (more information is available at our website, www.wwiivets.com). Now, we already hope you share World War II Chronicles with a young person after you are finished reading it, so they too can learn from the experiences of our World War II veterans. But if you do not do so already, encouraging a young person in your life to take part in the essay contest is one more way you can help us in our other mission, to bring the legacy of the Greatest Generation to the latest generation.