With Veteran’s Day quickly approaching, and memorial services being held throughout the nation, it’s only fitting that the ever shrinking number of World War 2 veterans have an outlet for them to record their thoughts, experiences, and remembrances. I’ve been watching several videos on YouTube lately created by WW2 veterans looking to preserve their memories. A fitting use of the sites as the experiences of the second great war prepare to leave the world’s collective living memory for good. A shame that I can’t watch them at school (YouTube is a blocked site), as many educators surely will find at their schools as well. A shame because it’s probably one of the simplest, yet most excellent examples of using the new technologies available to us today. I doubt I would be able to convince anyone in my district to unblock YouTube (I would be hard pressed to even convince myself after reading a few “choice” comments left by some apparent thugs).
Despite the vulgar comments left by some site members, the firsthand accounts of life in the 1940s and the experiences of World War 2 are compelling enough to imagine what students could learn from their seniors and elders. Elders that are communicating with the very Web 2.0 tools so many students are using. Below is just one of the videos from a series that one veteran has published. His profile page contains links to other veterans recording their histories too.