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Digital memories

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Every year on Memorial Day, local veterans gather near the Pitkin County Courthouse for a ceremony at Aspen’s Roaring Fork Veterans Memorial. This year will be no different, at least with the observance at noon Monday.

But this year’s Memorial Day remembrance is going digital. Recorded interviews of 15 Roaring Fork Valley war veterans will run on GrassRoots TV for 24 hours, starting at 12 a.m. on Monday, May 28.

The interviews are the result of the Veterans History Project, a nationwide effort launched by the U.S. Congress in 2000 to record the stories of veterans, particularly veterans of World War II and Korea who are getting older. Volunteers from across the U.S. conduct interviews that are collected in the Library of Congress.



With local support from the Aspen Elks Lodge, the Aspen Historical Society, the Aspen Thrift Shop and GrassRoots TV, local veterans have been recording their stories.

World War II veterans are dying at a rate of 1,600 per day, according to Dick Merritt, a retired Marine colonel and Vietnam veteran who is active in local veterans affairs and the Veterans History Project.



“We’re focusing on ‘at risk’ veterans,” Merritt said, mostly from WW II and Korea. And the group plans additional tapings in June and October.

“We’ve made a tremendous push here to get this all done. We’re on a roll,” Merritt said.

For more information about Monday’s veteran interviews on GrassRoots TV, visit http://www.grassrootstv.org. or call 925-8000.

And for information about the Veterans History Project, visit http://www.loc.gov/vets or call (888) 371-5848.


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