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Who is organizing this?

The American Veterans Institute, based in Tipp City, OH, and the World War II Victory Museum, located in Auburn, IN have implemented the Gift of Remembrance project.

Background: These two organizations are working together to establish the National Military History Center in Auburn. The 76,000 sq ft Victory Museum will be adding 102,000 sq ft as it becomes part of the National Military History Center complex. Housed in this complex (in addition to the Victory Museum) will be museums preserving America’s military history, from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War and up to today’s Global War on Terror. The facility will also house AVI’s American Veterans Hall of Honor and American Veterans Research Library.

The American Veterans Research Library will preserve all submissions to the Gifts of Remembrance project.

What is it the Gift of Remembrance project?

A joint project of the American Veterans Institute and the World War II Victory Museum, The Gift of Remembrance project urges families to use this holiday season to document and preserve the individual histories of the veterans in their families.

THEN, we ask you to not only share and preserve those histories within your own family – but submit them to the American Veterans Research Library so future generations may be enriched by them as well.

What does the project seek to preserve?

History – as experienced and recalled by the people who were there. We are seeking books, manuscripts, booklets, articles, stories, images, diaries, journals, letters, audio, and video recollections.

Perhaps you already have one or more of these items assembled from a veteran loved one? If so, the American Veterans Research Library would like to make them part of our collection.

If you have a loved one who is a veteran, but you know nothing about their military service, we urge you to remedy that this holiday season. For tips on how to get started and questions to ask, click here for oral history ideas or click here for information on preparing booklets and written records.

Gift of Remembrance submissions may be video or audio, or they may be written materials. Submissions should be digital – on CD or DVD, or via e-mail to: [email protected]. (Please keep attachments under 5Mb) Print files should be in MS Word, ASKII (text) or PDF format. Video and Audio files should be in standard formats.

Where is the American Veterans Research Library located?

Right now it is a virtual facility overseen by the American Veterans Institute in Tipp City, OH. But its physical location will be at the World War II Victory Museum facility in Auburn, IN. The Museum is located off I-69 in Auburn, across from the Kruse Auto Auction Complex. The Dean V. Kruse Foundation established Museum in 1999 and is overseeing plans to expand it into the National Military History Center, which will house not only the Victory Museum, but the American Veterans Hall of Honor, the American Veterans Research Library, and much more. Organizers hope to complete the expansion in 2010.

What is the basis for the Gift of Remembrance project?

This project is rooted in the knowledge that “every veteran has a story” – and that those stories are each a thread in the rich fabric of America’s military history.

When AVI founder Mike Jackson served as Executive Director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame (1992-2005), he discovered that the life histories of many aviation pioneers had all but disappeared over the generations. Jackson worked with aviation pioneer Harry B. Combs to try and remedy that by establishing the Combs Research Center at the NAHF. When Jackson and Tara Dixon Engel established the American Veterans Institute in 2004, one of their goals was to create a research facility that would preserve the individual stories of the GIs who have served in the name of liberty throughout American history. That goal was the genesis of the American Veterans Research Library.

The World War II Victory Museum initiated its oral history project in a race against time, as America was losing 1,500 World War II veterans a day. Victory Museum Executive Director Robert Krafft calls the oral history project “one of our most important programs. We have already collected dozens of veterans’ stories, with the help of our devoted volunteer corps and staff. The American Veterans Research Library is a logical extension of our efforts to tell the human stories of America’s men and women in uniform.”  

The Gift of Remembrance project is a “homework assignment” of sorts from the American Veterans Institute and the World War II Victory Museum. As families spend more time together over the holidays, it is the perfect opportunity to begin recording their loved ones’ stories of service and sacrifice. It can be done as a surprise gift for family members, as a family holiday project, or as a school project. However you do it…just do it: and be sure to share the results with the American Veterans Research Library. This year, give your loved ones the Gift of Remembrance.

Where do I submit something for the American Veterans Research Library?

If the file is under 5 MB, you can e-mail it to [email protected]. If the file is large (above 5 MB) or is a hard copy, please send it to: American Veterans Research Library, c/o World War II Victory Museum, 5634 County Road. 11A Auburn, IN 46706. Digital files (on CD or DVD) can also be mailed to: The American Veterans Institute, P.O. Box 85, Tipp City, OH 45371.

ALL submissions must be accompanied by a signed release. If the veteran is living, please have him or her sign the release. If the materials are being submitted by family members on behalf of a deceased veteran, please have the family member sign the form. Click here for a release.

How will I know that you have received the materials?
Everyone who submits a history will receive a certificate, suitable for framing, that indicates their veteran’s story will be preserved in the American Veterans Research Library collection. It is a nice keepsake to share with your veteran family member.



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