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History project as a youth resonates today

Date published: 1/10/2014

As 2013 came to a close, I spent time looking through some of my old belongings from high school. I rediscovered three mini-digital video cassette tapes from a World War II interview project I participated in a decade ago with the help of a retired U.S. Navy officer, my friend and mentor, Hugh Upton.

We had interviewed E.A. Grinstead, a U.S. Navy frogman who served in Europe during World War II; Robert Nakamoto, a Japanese-American who had spent time in a U.S. internment camp as a child; and Mr. and Mrs. Reochke, German civilians who spent months in bunkers as youths as the Royal British Air Force bombed Germany.

At the time, I was blessed to be exposed to diverse viewpoints of World War II and the opportunity to not just read about the war but to actively record individuals who lived through it.

All of these interview tapes were submitted to the U.S. Library of Congress. I'm proud to have been able to contribute to the recording of an essential part of world history while I was a teenager.

With all of the other goals that we seek to pursue in the new year, let's march ahead to motivate youths today to make their own mark in history.

Philip Hamilton