Student interviews enter Library of Congress


Junior Julie Bauer and Mrs. Brant are preparing to send in all of her veteran interviews to the National Archives in Washington, DC.

Sidney Patterson, The Lead Editor

At BAHS it isn’t uncommon for every grade level to be tagged with one special project that stands out above all others in that school year. For BA’s juniors, this is Ms. Brant’s Veteran’s Interviews.

Ms. Brant’s Problems of Democracy course offered to eleventh graders has been conducting Veteran’s Interviews for the past ten years. In this time Ms. Brant has compiled 436 interviews from WWII up through Operation Iraqi Freedom and current conflicts.

Ms. Brant, with the help of junior Julie Bauer compiled all of the interviews and contacted Rachel Telford, Archivist-Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress and was very pleased to have Ms. Telford request that all interviews to date be submitted to the Library of Congress. Once the interviews are checked in to the archives, veterans, their families, and the general public will have access to the interviews for future days to come.

“For one thing, they’re historical documents of people who served in the military for the United States,” said Ms. Brant,  “Once I retire, they would just sit here, so I contacted the Library of Congress because they have an archive for veterans interviews. I thought that was a good way to store them where people could have access to them from the public.”

One element that made this year’s interviews slightly different was the utilization of the iPads to video record the interviews. One student, Kermit Foor, came in to the rescue helping the majority of the junior class complete the video portion of their assignment.

“The best part of the interview is being able to go out and get to know the veteran and hear about their experiences,” said Kermit.

In addition to completing a required Veteran’s Interview project, students learned how to conduct a formal interview as well as gain appreciation for the military service so many Americans have made to them and to their country. The students came away from the experience with a new viewpoint and respect for our service men and women in all branches of the US military

“Whenever we do the nine elements of citizenship one of them is military service,” said Ms. Brant,  “This is the project I chose for juniors  for the year to learn about what it’s like to talk to a veteran and find out what a veteran’s experience is like so they can appreciate the service they do for the country.”