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May, 2004

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May 28, 2004

Memorial Day weekend - it's the kick off for the summer season and a time for gathering with friends and families. Lots of cookouts, picnics and food. Camping, boating and festivities. A time for making some good new memories.

It's also a time of remembrance. The history of the Memorial Day holiday in the US goes back to just after the Civil War when graves were visited and decorated to remember the fallen soldiers. The History Channel provides some good background.

As we remember our Armed Forces who've served and made the ultimate sacrifice it's important to reimember our living veterans. There's an ongoing effort to preserve their stores through the Veterans History Project, directed by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

The USO of Metropolitan New York is also making it possible for many seafaring troops to preserver their stories during Fleet Week (May 26 to June 2). 12 ships and over 4000 sailors and marines are coming to New York during this time and a number of personal historians are participating in the USO Video Story Project. You can get more information at the Our Living Tree web site.

I wish each of you a safe and memorable holiday.

May 17, 2004

May is Personal History Awareness Month, recognized as such by the Association of Personal Historians. You can learn more about the APH, currently featured on the Highlight Site page of this web site. Plus, there is a short survey - I'd be honored if you filled it out and in return I will give you a special offer to write a short special memory, a mini-memoir of sorts, at a limited-time reduced price. Why not get started on your life story this way?
[editor's note: the survey is done and the offer over...but you can always drop me an email for other personal history services.]

May 14, 2004

We've all been troubled by the tragic ongoing violence in Iraq. Human rights abuses are always wrong. So, it's regretable to hear of prisoner abuses. It's also so wrong for retaliation, especially against an innocent person like Nick Berg, the American contractor who was executed on videotape.

I was moved reading about Mr. Berg's life story events as recounted by friends. You should read about his "undying spirit" at this Washington Post article.

May 9, 2004

Happy Mother's Day! For those of you for whom we have this day, remember you don't have to be "supermom", but you are super. A nice article about passing on some life lessons through baking can be found at the Living the Solution site: Big Mama.

May 7, 2004

National Nursing Home Week will begin on Mother's Day, May 9 and continue through May 15, 2004. AHCA (American Health Care Association) established the week-long celebration in 1967.

There is a wealth of history waiting to be told by many of the people currently living in these assisted care facilities. This year's theme, "Embracing Our Heritage," calls on patients, family members, caregivers, and volunteers to reflect on the past and to contemplate the future by participating in special group activities. It certainly fits with our theme that "everybody has a story".


May 5, 2004

Cinco de Mayo - NOT Mexican Independence Day (it was Mexico's victory over a rebel Mexican army and the French). Gee, for many years I was under the mistaken impression it was! Just goes to show that our understanding of history can be mistaken. However, the only mistake you can make with your personal history is to not preserve it. May is Personal History Awareness Month, as noted by the APH (yes, I'm a member).

Have you checked out the new article, Memories for the Merry Month of May?

"We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present."
- Adlai Stevenson

May 3, 2004

I discovered at the web site that a recent featured site is the amazing Lives, A Biography resource.

They describe their site as "Links to thousands of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives, oral histories and more. Individual lives of the famous, the infamous, and the not so famous". Unfortunately, they also state they are currently unable to update, but the content/links they have will stay. This means you'll get some "bad/dead" links. (I was quite interested in the Annie Oakley link for my ongoing research for my great-grandfather's biography - Fred Gilbert was a contemporary and friend and champion trap shooter - but unfortunately that link no longer works). The good news, for those who find amillionlives useful, is that it is in redevelopment. They only post on biographies for people who've died, but definitely worth a look. A brand new and improved Lives, the Biography Resource, should be online in late 2004. In the meantime, check out many interesting biographies.

Everybody has a story to tell!
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