Interviews recorded with 16 North Country veterans have been submitted to the state’s archives as part of the Veterans Oral History Program.
St. Lawrence County service members whose interviews are included in the program are Thomas Morrison of Potsdam, who served in the Army during the Cold War, and Ronald “Joe” Fields of Lisbon, who was in the Air Force during Vietnam.
Excerpts from some of the interviews can be seen at http://www.nysenate.gov/video/2012/may/24/ritchie-local-veterans-are-now...
The interviews, including one from a Fulton soldier who deactivated landmines with his bayonet on D-Day and an Air Force officer who interviewed Russian defectors during the Cold War, are to save the memories of some of those who have served in our armed forces.
The interviews are being sent to the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs to be included in the Veterans Oral History Program. The program was created in 2000 to capture the stories of World War II veterans, and recently expanded to include all conflicts and peacetime veterans, but budget cuts have made it more difficult for the museum to add to its collection.
“Veterans of Central and Northern New York played an important role in every conflict in America’s history,” said state Senator Patty Ritchie of Heuvelton, who arranged several interviews with veterans in her offices in Watertown, Oswego and Ogdensburg.
“Since America declared its independence and celebrated its first 4th of July, New Yorkers have always been willing to put their lives on the line in the service to their nation, and this project will help future generations better understand the sacrifice and service of our men and women in uniform,” Ritchie said.
The interviews include the memories of the bodyguard to the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war trials, veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, and veterans of the Korean, Vietnam and Cold Wars.