18-year-old pursues stories of World War II



Rishi Sharma is on a mission to talk to World War II Veterans and record their experiences.

“My biggest heroes are the combat Veterans of World War II,” Sharma said.

The 18-year-old has completed more than 100 interviews with WWII Veterans and he films most of them. These in-depth interviews range from four to seven hours. Sharma is fascinated by the insight these Veterans share with him and wants to capture their stories.

Sharma’s efforts are similar to Library of Congress’ Veteran History Project, the nation’s oral history collection of Veterans and their service. Sharma, however, is focusing specifically on WWII Veterans and his interviews are in much longer form than the usual VHP submission.

He wants to understand these Veterans and what they endured during the war. Sharma’s admiration for these heroes has him in constant pursuit for more stories and more subjects. His goal is to do an interview everyday, as he knows his opportunity to talk with WWII Veterans lessens each year. He hopes his efforts remind these Veterans how grateful he is for their sacrifice and he is trying to be an outlet for them to express their recollections and thoughts regarding the war in a “censor-free environment.”

Rishi Sharma interviews WWII vets

Rishi Sharma interviews WWII vets

“I am giving the Greatest Generation the opportunity to share their wartime experiences and life advice for future generations,” Sharma said. “There is no commercial aspect to this and the interviews are given to the Veterans so that they may pass it down to their families.”

The Veterans are given full rights to their footage and even provided a DVD of the interview.

Sharma’s interviews can be found at his website and YouTube page.

Author

Timothy Lawson

Timothy Lawson has been a member of VA’s Digital Media Engagement team since April 2016 and is the host of VA’s official podcast, Borne the Battle. He graduated from American University’s School of Communications in 2016 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Tim is a Marine Corps Veteran having served as a Marine Security Guard posted at embassies in Algeria, Russia, and Peru.

Comments

  1. Kairi Gainsborough    

    It is really admirable that Rishi wants to understand what the veterans of WWII went through. My grandpa couldn’t fight in the war because he had polio as a boy. However, he loves to talk about it. I wonder if Rishi plans on publishing these interviews eventually. I bet my grandpa would enjoy watching them. He loves anything to do with the military aircraft, ships, and submarines of that time. I bet I could at least find him a DVD about that.

  2. Heather Gilbert    

    Hello,

    I have a question or two if you have some free time. I’m with the VFW. I had an amazing story to tell also of a man by the name of Dirk. He passed away recently and was amazing. Gave and gave till his last minutes on earth.

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