Lt. Governor Francis Participates in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. PDF Print
For Immediate Release                        No. 57-08

November 10, 2008

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Lt. Governor Francis Participates in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.


Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis has partnered with the Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums (DLAM) and the Library of Congress to raise awareness of the Veterans History Project (VHP). Lt. Governor Francis recently joined Ingrid Bough, Territorial Director of the Libraries, Archives and Museums, to share his perspective and first-hand accounting of his experiences during the Vietnam War in a videotaped interview.   Francis’ interview, which will be part of a future documentary titled Veterans of War in the Virgin Islands, is the first of many that are expected to document the oral histories of Virgin Islands veterans. 

The Veterans History Project is an effort by the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center to document the stories of veterans and their families all across America. It was created in 2000, when the U.S. Congress voted unanimously to preserve and archive the oral histories of American men and women who have served in any of our country’s wars and civilians who supported the war effort. Data provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs indicates that the nation now loses its wartime veterans, particularly those who served in World War II and the Korean War, at the rate of 1,700 per day.

Ingrid Bough, territorial director of Libraries, Archives & Museums, appreciates the Lt. Governor’s commitment to being involved in this timely and worthy project.   “This project is significant to present and future generations,” Bough said.  “It will be a valuable tool for teachers and students who are interested in firsthand accounts from Virgin Islands veterans who served during the nation’s wars.” 

Lt. Governor Francis is encouraging veterans throughout the territory to share their stories.  In his taped interview, Francis shared his recollections of factors and influences that led him to serve, as well as his perspective on how his military service is beneficial to his current position as the Lt. Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also reflects on the strict discipline, camaraderie, and strong allegiance to the US flag and country that Virgin Islanders obtained in the military. “A veteran is a veteran for life,” Lt. Governor Francis said. “Freedom came at a cost but Virgin Islanders have always been proud to serve.”  Francis has pledged the full support of his office to assist the DLAM in collecting, recording and preserving the oral histories of Virgin Islands veterans. He previously assisted in the creation of a documentary honoring the territory’s World War II veterans. 

The project, which will begin early next year, needs additional funding in order to fully compile the histories of veterans who are interested in contributing their histories to the documentary. Individuals or groups who are interested in supporting or donating to the veterans oral history project at the Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums, are encouraged to contact Ingrid Bough at (340)773-5715 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   Veterans who are interested in being a part of the documentary are encouraged to either visit the Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project website at www.loc.gov/vets, call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information and to obtain a project field kit.

The film interview of Lt. Governor Francis was conducted by award-winning film director Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz of Cane Bay Films, LLC and was taped in the courtyard of Government House on St. Croix.  The interview will be made available at a later date through the Virgin Islands Public Libraries archives.


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