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Latest News: VHP Experience Honors D-Day at 75

Screenshot from “D-Day Journeys” Story Map by Samantha Meier and Megan Harris from the Veterans History Project. Image is from the Library's Preston E. Bagent Collection.

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, the Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress today launched an interactive online experience that features unique journeys of veterans who were part of the invasion.

The digital efforts include an interactive Story Map, “D-Day Journeys: Personal Geographies of D-Day,” and a new online website feature, “D-Day: 75th Anniversary.” 

The Story Map draws from VHP collections, and chronicles the individual journeys of four veterans who took part in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944: Preston Earl Bagent, Robert Harlan Horr, John William Boehne III and Edward Duncan Cameron.

It combines text, images and multimedia content in an online application for an immersive user experience that allows map-based discovery through geographic information system technology, commonly referred to as GIS. This Story Map includes archival source materials ranging from ticket stubs to sketches, military orders, diaries, memoirs and photographs.

The website feature, “D-Day: 75th Anniversary,” explores the stories of 12 veterans from the VHP archive who took part in Operation Overlord, the military campaign which began with the June 6 invasion. In addition to highlighting the stories of those who took part in the first wave of the assault on the Normandy beachheads, the feature also includes those who followed in subsequent days, such as nurses Edna Statman and Ruth Dorsman.

Users can also access the VHP collections of combat medic Charles Norman Shay, a Penobscot Indian who was later captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war; John Bonzer, a doctor who treated casualties on Utah Beach; and Herbert DeGenere, a sailor who kept a meticulous diary.

To access the Story Map, “D-Day Journeys,” visit loc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=c88d73171ff945d2a7538507b899bda6, and for all 12 of the veterans’ collections featured in “D-Day: 75th Anniversary” go to loc.gov/vets/stories/ex-war-dday75.html.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of United States war veterans from WWI through the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. For more information, visit loc.gov/vets or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news. Follow VHP on Facebook @vetshistoryproject.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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