As a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, I remember spending multiple deployments out at sea, on a ship, sailing off the coast of Central and South America. The days were long, and the nights even longer, as we spent up to nine months away from friends and family. Although the deployments were sometimes dangerous, and we were away from home, we knew that it was part of the greater mission of protecting our country.
Millions of Americans throughout history have made a commitment to protect our country, and to better understand their impact and sacrifice, we’re amplifying their voices and sharing their stories. And we want you to help.
To do this, we’re partnering with StoryCorps, whose mission is to preserve and collect humanity’s stories. When you download the Storycorps app, you can interview a veteran in your life, and archive their oral history. Once you share your story, it will be sent to the Library of Congress where it will be kept for future generations to learn about their achievement and sacrifice.
Thanks to our partnership with Storycorps, today’s Doodle features stories from five veterans, including the first African-American woman to serve in the Coast Guard, and of an Army Sergeant who was reunited with the medic who saved his life ten years later. Guest animators Alicia and Emory Allen, both children of veterans, lent their talents to create original artwork for the stories and the Doodle.
Nineteen-year-old YouTube creator Andy Fancher has spent the last three years telling veterans’ stories—he’s interviewed more than 70 WWII combat veterans for his YouTube channel, “Andy Fancher Presents.” Andy’s interest in documenting veterans’ stories started after he found a photograph of his late great-grandfather and realized his experience as a soldier hadn’t been preserved. Now, YouTubers like Andy can use the StoryCorps app to capture their own veteran stories.
Veterans Day is also International Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. In partnership with the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO, Google Arts and Culture has digitized and uploaded hundreds of historical documents, posters, and photographs. Now you can learn more about the origins of Veterans Day through exhibits about the armistice centennial or the significance of iconic WWI posters. You can also tour the museum’s grounds and interior, and explore the Museum in virtual reality with Google Cardboard tours narrated by the Museum’s curators and a retired Colonel.
Veterans are heroes among us, and these new efforts—across our platforms—can help to make sure that their legacy of service and sacrifice is preserved well into the future. If you or someone you know is a veteran in crisis, please reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line or call 1-800-273-8255 & press 1. It’s a free, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. The caring, qualified responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping veterans of all ages and circumstances.