NAMPA, Idaho — Seventy-three years ago, President Harry Truman proclaimed the third Saturday in May as Armed Forces Day.
In honor of this special day, I went to the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa to see how a decades-old project continues to record the past and to see a new exhibit that will do the same.
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Brandon Hull first volunteered at the museum and his curiosity got the best of him when he started asking questions about his grandfather's time in the Pacific during World War Two.
With the help of others, Hull came up with the idea to start interviewing veterans to record their stories for future generations. With help from the Canyon County Historical Society, the Warhawk is in the process of digitizing some 1300 DVDs.
"We're going to take these videos and put them up online and we're going to tag the videos with things like Army, Navy, battle sites, so somebody can come and type in search terms and videos that correspond to it will come up. People around the world will be able to listen to Idaho veterans."
Because DVDs are essentially the masters, with no backups, keeping them locked away in a safe during the digitizing process is important.
A new display called "The Wall of Faces" is a hands-on kiosk that will be placed in front of a detailed timeline of the Vietnam War.
The virtual Wall of Faces features a page dedicated to honoring and remembering every person whose name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
It's something co-founder Sue Paul says can help everyone understand the war a little better. "And make sure people understand the sacrifices that were made, the number of boys that died during that war, and be able to learn who they are and not have them pass into oblivion," said Paul.
I recently did a story with Mark Stephansen, whose father was shot down in North Vietnam in 1967. So we searched for Mark's dad.
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"I'm putting in the name, search, here it is, right here. Mark Lane Stephensen, Born in 1930. Air Force. From Salt Lake City. We can view his profile and learn more about him—even a place to add your comments.
Hull says a new virtual tour will add another dimension to the museum. "The virtual tour is a way to see how fabulous these collections are. These are personal collections and span all the wars of the 20th century at least the second half anyway," said Hull.
The Warhawk Air Museum continues to be a gem in the Gem State.