Secretary of State Jesse White hosted “Preserving Their Memories” to pay tribute to veterans and their contributions to the Illinois Veterans’ History Project recently at the Illinois State Library in Springfield.The Illinois Veterans’ History Project honors Illinois veterans by documenting and preserving their experiences.
“The Illinois Veterans’ History Project provides a place to honor our veterans and is a memorial for those who have served our country,” White said. “Today, there are nearly 6,500 records that were submitted by veterans or their loved ones. With this initiative, future generations will have a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by Illinois veterans.”
White, who served as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, was also a member of the Illinois National Guard and a reservist.
As State Librarian and Archivist, White initiated the Illinois Veterans’ History Project in 2005, in conjunction with the Library of Congress, to provide a permanent record of the names and stories of Illinois veterans and their families.
“With the use of technology, my office has been able to share over 550 personal history videos online through the Illinois Veterans’ History Project YouTube channel,” White said. “It is my hope that the contributions of these veterans will live on and their individual experiences will not be forgotten.”
At the event, veterans were able to obtain an updated driver’s license or ID card with the word “veteran” displayed, a designation that helps ensure veterans in Illinois, who have received an Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions discharge, receive veteran services and benefits.