Veteran interview on Veterans day with Jesse Beazely and Louis Bower.
November 10, 2017
This 18 minutes podcast is the third episode of the Wisdom Project, hosted by Douglas A. Boyd. To honor Veterans Day, this episode focuses on two WWII veterans who both participated in the D-Day invasion of 1944. The veterans, Jesse Beazley and Louis Bower told a few intriguing and powerful stories about their campaign on D-Day.
“…And that little episode I will remember as long as I breathe.”Louis Bower on the dying German officer he gave morphine to.
The usage of the interviews
The interviews in this podcast were used as examples of why the public should listen to oral history archives of veterans to honor Veterans Day, instead of watching fictional war movies. As the podcast believes that because these veterans are real people and tell real stories, therefore, listening to their stories is the best way to honor the veterans.
The historical narrative
The interviews support the historical narrative of the Second World War by showing us the grittiness of the most deadly conflict in human history in the form of the perspective of two individual soldiers who participated in the D-Day invasion.
In my opinion,the podcast was merely a short example of how listening to real veterans talk about their personal experience can be educational and intriguing. The podcast itself might not necessarily be a good form of presenting the Second World War. However, as the host Boyd suggested that the audience should spend time listening to oral history interviews with veterans, which is, in my opinion, a superior form of presenting a historical topic such as the Second World War. It is a reliable way of accessing primary sources from the people who were personally involved in the war.
In Bower’s interview, he mentioned that he shot a German officer and proceeded to give him a shot of morphine before he died. Despite it making a touching story, I have my doubts regarding the realism and accuracy of this piece of memory. In the interview he didn’t mention having anyone else around him when he shot the German officer, which I find a hard time to believe that he were alone in the middle of campaign. Should there be someone there with him, I doubt that he can give a piece of important medical supply to a dying enemy.
Per my last blog, I believe despite this form of recording history has its advantage over certain others. However, I also believe that the biggest detriment of this practice is that the memory of the interviewee can’t always be accurate, leading to misinformation or exaggerations. Causing future problems with the historians attempting to analyze these sources.
Overall, I think the podcast raises good awareness for the effort to conduct oral history interviews with WWII veterans. Which the number of them are whittling down due to the forever moving time. Our generation is basically the last that will get a chance to have face to face conversations with these people. Thus, it is imperative to the historians of the modern days to utilize the technologies within their grasps to preserve these precious data.