CHASING TIME (WWII STORIES)
InterviewGirl.com will soon release: CHASING TIME: What the WWII Generation Taught a Millennial. In this compilation of stories, WWII veterans, Holocaust survivors, POWs, and other individuals who were alive while WWII was happening were interviewed. Stay tuned for the release of CHASING TIME.
From every WWII interview that I completed, not only did I learn the interesting war stories that I set out to learn, but I always learned other fascinating stories, separate from the war, from peoples’ lives. Most of the veterans were eager to tell me about their granddaughter’s latest degree or activity or their grandson’s new job. What medals they received while in duty were mentioned only from a direct question proposed by me, but I have video after video filled with people telling me stories about their children and grandchildren. Interview after interview turned into a discussion about the veterans’ families and how proud they were of their family and how much their family meant to them. In my World War Two Stories project, yes I heard my WWII Stories that I set out to learn, but I also learned other stories and lessons along the way.
I never thought that I would care so much about B-17’s, B-24’s, tail gunners, and a host of other Air force, Navy, Army and/or military developments. It was not all the war and military history, but the people telling me the stories about the military part that drew me in. I was hooked. As many individuals told me their stories, I sat there and I listened and I felt like I was back in the 1940’s. As Mr. Romano said about his story from the WWII years, “It is about a different era, a different culture in some ways and in many ways a different youth.”
When someone looks you into the eye and explains how it was difficult to see casualties, you understand about the difficulties that soldiers experience in war in a new way. Over and over, someone would keep talking long after I had heard their story from the war years. The individuals would go on and on about what seemed like nothing. They would talk and talk. At times, I would just want the chatter to end, but as I listened more closely, although it could seem like they were just going on and on, there was something there. I always learned something. It is true that storytelling helps us to understand things better. It has been said that we are born for stories. Stories allow us to experience the similarities between ourselves and through others. Through the stories that the Greatest Generation shared with me, I understood not only the WWII years better, but I understood about life in a different way.
“Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.” – Hermann Hesse