Everybody has a story, and every story is worth sharing. But what happens when the stories of people long gone are unknown, and therefore go unnoticed and unshared? The Veterans Legacy Program (VLP) at the University of Denver is a program through the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences where students and professors are able to study veterans from the past and give them and their families a voice.

When the Veterans Legacy Program began, students were given a list of veterans that served in WWI, WWII, the Vietnam and Korean Wars, and countless others. The students were given their name, birthday, death date, and rank. That’s it. The students then worked to research and uncover the stories of these cherished people. After their research was complete, they had to figure out how they wanted to communicate these stories to the larger population, to not only honor these heroes, but also to explain how these lives and stories fit into the larger narrative of American history.

On November 10, some of these students and professors led a tour through the Fort Logan Cemetery where they shared with the community their research process and some of the stories they have uncovered. Veterans who were dedicated, loving, kind, and brave are buried at Fort Logan, and today their stories did not go unnoticed. The students shared stories of a couple Navajo Code Talkers, and the importance their language was to America’s success in WW2. We also explored the history of one of two woman who received the Purple Heart during her time serving as an Army nurse. Every headstone at Fort Logan National Cemetery tells a story, and today we got introduced to a few American heroes.  

The VLP have created a way for these stories to live on and be shared with the larger community. The research that these students have done and the history they have uncovered is showcased at the “More Than a Headstone – The Lives and Legacies of Veterans at Fort Logan National Cemetery” exhibit located in Anderson Academic Commons on the DU campus. This exhibit is currently open and will stay open to the public until March 15, 2019. The Veterans Legacy Program is ongoing, and they are always looking for ways to partner with the community, share more stories, and make an impact.

Sunday, November 11 was Veterans Day, and marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. We not only look to honor those who have fallen, but also those that are currently giving their time, energy, and heart to serve and protect America. Thank you to all present and past veterans. Your service, sacrifices, and life are honored and never forgotten!

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