Kansas veterans and family members who experienced World War II first-hand have paired up with Lindsborg sixth-grade students to preserve memories made more than six decades ago.


Kansas veterans and family members who experienced World War II first-hand have paired up with Lindsborg sixth-grade students to preserve memories made more than six decades ago.
“I’m pleased with what’s happening so far,” said Ann Parr, a Lindsborg author who has helped organize the project. Tuesday the students connected with veterans at Lindsborg’s Vision_Tek Center, although the project has been under way since Jan. 18.
Parr said 20 veterans or their family members have volunteered to share their stories and photographs from the war with 12 sixth-grade students who will help record those stories. The undertaking has been a good chance for the generations to connect, she said.
“The kids admire them, and they start to think the kids are really special,” Parr said.
Veteran’s stories will be recorded and paired with photographs into hardback books, with each book containing one person’s story.
Recording veterans’ stories is becoming ever more important. Kansas loses up to a dozen WWII veterans. McPherson County -- specifically the Lindsborg community -- suffers its share of lost history too. After veterans’ stories are published, the authors will be interviewed about their books. The interviews will be placed on a website along with information about the books. Panel discussions, exhibits of the books, and readings will take place around the community (Old Mill Musuem, Sandzen Art Gallery, McPherson County Historical Society, Lindsborg Arts Council, Lindsborg Public Library, Lindsborg Senior Center, McPherson Museum, Bethany Home).  Permanent exhibits of the works will be available for WW II historians.
Veteran Glen Funk, a McPherson resident, is glad for the chance to share his story.
“[I] always like to tell something that brings history up to date,” he said.
Funk’s wife Edythe, in addition to sharing stories about her brother, Lloyd Howard, is also helping her husband tell about his experiences.
Funk served as a B-24 pilot during World War II and spent 90 days as a prisoner of war in Romania after his plane caught on fire during his 16th run. Funk says he hopes his story will help people realize how lucky they are to live in the United States.
“It’s a great country,” he said.