AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine Gov. Paul LePage and first lady Ann LePage are throwing their support behind a program helping to preserve the living histories of military veterans and civilians who supported them.

The Bureau of Veterans Services created the Maine Veterans Legacy Project with the mission of collecting first-person accounts of those who served in the U.S. military during times of war and peace.

“Our veterans are living history, and when you listen to some of their stories it brings tears to your eyes,” said LePage, who joined in a ceremony this past week in the State House Hall of Flags. “It is our responsibility to ensure these memories are saved and shared with fellow Mainers and Americans.”

The Veterans Legacy Project will focus on interviewing veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The Bureau of Veterans Services is collaborating with WABI-TV to film and produce the interviews, which will be put on file with the State of Maine Archives.

“This year, we have focused on our World War II veterans because we know we are losing them at a rapid rate,” Ann LePage said in a statement. “We are losing a generation of warriors, and it saddens me to know there are very few veterans still with us who served in World War II.”

All veterans are encouraged to participate, but it’s not limited to just veterans. The project also will share the stories of families of veterans and civilians who supported the military.

The Veterans Legacy Project is coordinating with the Library of Congress and its Veterans History Project. All told, the national project has 460 national and local partners.

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