(Kansas City, Missouri) - For the "Greatest Generation," memories of World War II replay as vividly as motion picture newsreels. Whether they parachuted into France or joined an assembly line, every American - every Kansas Citian - went to war.
Launching a new series, War Stories: World War II Remembered, Time magazine's David Von Drehle interviews three of the city's most recognizable veterans of the six-year conflict on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Current civic giants Henry Bloch, Edward T. Matheny Jr., and Bill Dunn Sr. were barely out of their teens when they rallied to the cry of "Remember Pearl Harbor." Seventy years after the war's end, they share their personal stories and reflect on the leadership of President Harry S. Truman, their hometown commander-in-chief, in the final years of the war.
The presentation, When Kansas City Went to War, begins at 6:30 p.m.
The survivors of World War II are now mostly in their 90s, and they - and their stories of serving overseas and sacrificing on the home front - are an increasingly precious resource. According to U.S. Veterans Administration figures, a memory of the war and its sights, sounds, terrors, and triumphs is lost approximately every three minutes.
The War Stories series, co-presented by the Truman Library Institute, is made possible by generous grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Von Drehle is a Kansas City-based editor-at-large for Time, covering politics, breaking news and the Supreme Court since 2007. He is the author of four books including Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year and Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, and has appeared frequently at the Library as the host of Dateline: Washington with David Von Drehle.
A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.
War Stories: World War II Remembered is offered as part of a yearlong series of programs and exhibits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in 1945. To learn more, visit TrumanLibraryInstitute.org.