The wartime memories of 31 World War II veterans from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, who served aboard Navy ships and battled cold and disease as well as enemy fighters as front line infantry and marines, are being added to the state’s permanent archives through Senator Patty Ritchie’s “Veteran’s Voices” program.
“On Veterans’ Day and throughout the year, we can never forget the service, sacrifice and dedication of the millions of men and women from New York who have served America as part of our Armed Forces, especially those who fought in the some of the most important and dangerous conflicts in our history,” Senator Ritchie said. “My ‘Veterans Voices’ program collects the firsthand accounts of battles and wartime experiences of the men and women who were there, and preserves them for families, researchers and future generations. These heroes have amazing and, sometimes, heartwrenching stories to tell, and we owe it to them and to everyone who served, to listen, honor and respect their service.”
The interviews collected through Senator Ritchie’s “Veterans Voices” program were sent to the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. Located in Saratoga Springs, the museum seeks to relate the history of New York’s central role in every one of America’s major military conflicts, from the Revolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The brave men and women who took part in my ‘Veterans Voices’ program are truly inspiring, with so many stories of struggle, bravery and devotion to their country,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m so pleased to have had the opportunity to listen to the stories of our local veterans who made so many sacrifices for our country, but more importantly, I’m thrilled that these conversations will now be forever a part of our state archives, preserved for future generations to not only listen to, but to learn from.”
In the past two years, Senator Ritchie has collected nearly four dozen interviews of local veterans to be sent to the state museum. With more than one million New Yorkers serving in the military from 1941 to 1945, this year, Senator Ritchie focused on collecting the stories of WWII veterans. She plans to expand the program to veterans of other wars, as well as peacetime in the future.
Interviews are available for viewing at www.ritchie.nysenate.gov
Here is a list of Central and Northern New York veterans who participated in the project.
Amos (Andy) Cambron
St. Lawrence County