“Patriots Colony At Williamsburg in Williamsburg is home to men and women who have seen history unfold before their eyes. Retired military officers and former diplomats live on its peaceful, scenic campus. Stories abound here.” -Daily Press
A few years ago, after Hugh Lessig, Daily Press reporter, spoke at a Veterans Day ceremony about the value of oral history, Riverside's Patriots Colony At Williamsburg residents took it upon themselves to record stories of their neighbors and friends. They called it the Patriots Project.
Armed with equipment that came courtesy of the College of William and Mary and training, thanks to Jay Gaidmore, the Director of the Special Collections Research Center of the SWEM Library, they convinced more than 100 people to come forward and record their experiences on video.
The stories are meant for family members, who can pass them down to future generations, and are catalogued in the library’s special collections.
In honor of this Veterans Day, the residents and committee members of the Patriots Project, hosted a viewing on November 9 of some of the oral history footage they’ve captured, focusing on the special relationship between the helicopter teams and troops on the ground in Vietnam.
Videos and stories from the Daily Press series are available at the following links:
- 'Masses of people coming at you': On the frontlines of the Korean War
- Fighting to find each other, Tet 1968
- The Mileys - Full lives, shaped by the Army
Mr. Lessig and Mr. Gaidmore were honored by the Patriots Project for their incredible role in making the project possible.
Published: November 12, 2018