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Veterans have chance to tell their stories, National Roll Call also scheduled at UNG

November 4, 2019

Veterans have a chance to share their stories in video interviews for inclusion in the Library of Congress in a Nov. 8 event on University of North Georgia's (UNG) Dahlonega Campus.

Timed in conjunction with Veterans Day, staff members from U.S. Rep. Doug Collins' office and UNG students will welcome veterans from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Library Technology Center. Veterans can sign up to have their story filmed by emailing Dan Mel in Collins' office at A limited number of spots are available, and veterans who are unable to be accommodated for this event will be contacted for future events.

"Interviewing veterans gives UNG students the opportunity to learn about individual experiences in the context of significant, and in many cases, life-changing events," said Dr. Christopher Jespersen, dean of UNG's College of Arts and Letters. "The process brings together different generations and allows veterans to convey their stories, connect with students, and keep their memories alive for all to cherish. It's the quintessential way for the past and present to come together."

The interviews will be part of the Veterans History Project, an archive housed at the Library of Congress that preserves narratives of veterans' service through oral history interviews and documents such as photographs, letters and journals so that researchers and future generations can better understand the realities of war by accessing these firsthand accounts.

The interviews will become part of the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and will be made available to researchers and the general public via the American Folklife Center Reading Room at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Veterans History Project website 

UNG will honor veterans living and deceased, as well as service members killed in action, on Veterans Day on Nov. 11 as part of the National Roll Call. UNG's Veteran and Adult Learners Program (VALP) hosts the event as part of a national grassroots effort designed to make the holiday a time of appreciation and reflection.

UNG's event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 11 on the Quad outside the Student Center on the Gainesville Campus, capped by a minute of silence at 2 p.m. and the playing of taps.

"This gives us a way to give back to our veterans, to show them our support and how much they mean to our campus and community," said Christy Orr, assistant director of Student Life and VALP at UNG.

Students, faculty and staff can submit names of veterans to be read through UNG Connect. Names of Georgia service members killed in Operation Enduring Freedom (also known as the War on Terror) and Operation Iraqi Freedom will be read for the first two hours, followed by names submitted to UNG.

UNG community members may sign up online to read some of the names. One of those who will read names is Dr. Alyson Paul, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students on the Gainesville Campus.

"It makes me feel like I can be a part of Veterans Day," she said. "We take a moment to remember the sacrifice of each of these service members."

Small American flags also will be provided for people to write a family member or friend's name on to be placed at the event. Donations are requested for the flags, and the proceeds this year will go toward the UNG Food Pantry on the Gainesville Campus.

UNG's Corps of Cadets will send a battalion and the color guard to the Lumpkin County Veterans Day Parade, set for 11 a.m. Nov. 9 in Dahlonega, Georgia, and the Corps color guard will also go to Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, Georgia, on Nov. 11.

The Student Veterans of America (SVA) on the Dahlonega Campus is hosting a Spirit Night on Nov. 14 at Moe's, when it will receive 10% of proceeds for the night. The group also held a work day with Pi Kappa Phi to benefit the American Legion on Oct. 28 and will have an information table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 11 on the Hoag Patio.

The Oconee Campus will hold a ceremony at noon Nov. 11 to honor students, faculty, staff and community members who are veterans. The ceremony will be at the flagpole and will be followed by a reception in the administration building.

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