Joe Assenza served two tours in Iraq with the US Marines and likes remembering the small, seemingly inconsequential details of his time in and awaiting combat. Don Polsi drew number 25 in the draft lottery and was soon an Army artilleryman in Vietnam. Frank Hickey had a talent for music and ended up as a member of the Navy band on the USS Oriskany during the Korean War. All three of them spoke movingly today of their service and of their participation in the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress, a national effort to record and archive the story of American veterans of all wars and eras.
Jointly sponsored in Greater Lowell by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Middlesex Community College, and Lowell Telecommunications Corporation, the project has thus far captured the stories of fifteen Greater Lowell veterans. At today’s ceremony at MCC’s Federal Building, Congresswoman Tsongas presented these recordings to a delegation of MCC students who are bound for Washington, DC in the morning. Upon arrival they will personally deliver these recordings, including the stories of Joe, Don and Frank, to the Library of Congress.
The Veterans History Project is a critically important undertaking. We have all experienced after the loss of a friend or a loved one the regret of not having asked more questions about the decedent’s life. This is especially true when it comes to veterans, many of whom were eyewitnesses to and participants in some of the most crucial events in our country’s history. If you are a veteran or you know a veteran, please consider participating in this project so that your story will be preserved for those who come after us.
For more information or to get details on participating, contact Paul E. Corbett II, Congresswoman Tsongas’s Veteran and Military Caseworker/Outreach Coordinator at 11 Kearney Square, 3rd Floor, Lowell, MA 01852 – telephone 978.459.0101.