Preserving History: The 14-year-old behind the WWII Veterans History Project

Interviews, WW2

By Pierre Kosmidis

Photos: WWII Veterans History Project


World War Two may have ended back in 1945 and young men who fought back then may now be octogenarians or nonagenarians, but their memories are being kept for future generations, thanks to the efforts of a 14-year-old young man, Benjamin Mack-Jackson.
Benjamin is the founder of the WWII Veterans History Project, aiming at preserving the WW2 memories alive, even after the cycle of life of those veterans is closed, for the young generations.
Much is being said about the ignorance of the postwar generations, especially related to the last conflict on a global scale, which was WW2.
In that aspect, Benjamin Mack-Jackson not only records those first-person accounts, but also aims at raising awareness and interest on those times.
4 contacted Benjamin Mack-Jackson to learn more about the WWII Veterans History Project
What was your incentive to start this project and when did you launch it?
I started the WWII Veterans History Project in the summer of 2015, when I was 13 years old.
I began this mission to preserve the memories of our WWII veterans and share their stories with my generation, so that they can gain a better understanding and appreciation for our nation’s veterans.
What has been the response so far from WW2 Veterans?
The WWII veterans I interview are extremely appreciative of my project and my interest to preserve their legacy.
They have also been extremely helpful in getting involved with my generation and children younger than me to share their stories.
Despite your young age, you are very interested in WW2. Why is that?
In my lifetime, I feel like this is the most relevant time in history where I can still meet the people that were directly involved with this conflict.
This will not always be the case. I can gather first-hand information about what happened directly from the Veterans. There is no better source of history than speaking to the people who actually lived through it.
What is a key lesson learned from your involvement so far?
It has been a life changing experience.
I have learned about patriotism, loyalty, bravery, life, love, and even death.
Are you working with any other organisations, veteran groups etc? 
I have been working alongside many organizations, and each one has greatly helped my project grow to what it is today. I have worked with the Honor Flight Network, VFW, American Legion, among others to gain contacts for me to interview.
I have also been lucky enough to work alongside the Kiwanis organization, and I have spoken at many of their meetings and events over the past few years.
What are your plans for the future?
This is a never ending mission. I hope to share the stories of as many WWII Veterans as possible until their are no more alive. Then, I will focus my attention on interviewing the family members of WWII Veterans to hear any stories they may remember from their relative’s time in service.
I also hope to expand my collection of military memorabilia so that I can provide more items to go on tour with the Traveling Museum of WWII, which is part of my project.
People have given me almost all of the items that are currently in my collection that is touring with the museum. Veterans and their families have entrusted me with these historical artifacts, and I take pride in being chosen to carry them on for future generations.
My project is also in the process of becoming a non-for-profit organization. I hope that once this is completed I will receive larger monetary donations to the organization so that I can continue to accomplish the large goals I have set for this organization.
WW2 Veterans History Project website
You can find many pictures of me with the veterans and events on Facebook.
Project Mission Trailer