Veterans Stories Weather COVID Storm
More stories of Veterans are still wanted by the Veterans Memorial Hall Program in Duluth
DULUTH, Minn. — We all know that COVID and the pandemic interrupted almost everything and everybody.
And the effort to collect the stories of our veterans was no exception. In Duluth, the Veterans Memorial Hall Program has preserved the stories of over two hundred veterans. But the important work hit a roadblock when meeting with aging veterans face-to-face became a challenge.
So, Program Manager, Jay Hagen, said the trained interviewers had to be creative. “We’d always done these interviews within earshot of the person. And with COVID, a lot of veterans that we’re doing are elderly, and we couldn’t get anywhere close. So, we had to come up with some new ideas…like we used Zoom to do a couple interviews…we used plexiglass sometimes hanging between. And the other way we did it sometimes was deputizing family members, because those family members could get within six feet of their loved ones.”
Hagen says all those pieces together allowed them to keep the program going. As the program ramps back up to normal speed, anyone interested is urged to contact Veterans Memorial Hall to pass on information or names of other veterans whose stories have not yet been told. This is true whether you are an individual, or a Veterans or Veterans-friendly group. Just contact the program, which is located in the Depot in downtown Duluth.