THE WAR is a seven-part series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of nearly 50 men and women from four quintessentially American towns: Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and the tiny farming town of Luverne, Minnesota.

WWII in Hampton Roads

A hub of U.S. military activity, Hampton Roads has been shaped in many ways, socially and culturally, by the daily military presence. During WWII while many Hampton Roads' residents were leaving their homes to go to military assignments, the area was growing with people coming from throughout the United States. As the launching place for so many soldiers, sailors and airmen and the leaving place for so many families, Hampton Roads was a region filled with joy and sadness, excitement and fear, leaving indelible marks on the community.

WHRO headed several local outreach initiatives to capture personal WWII recollections from Hampton Roads residents, as part of its outreach in support of Ken Burn’s THE WAR. Please enjoy these unique stories of U.S. WWII wartime veterans and home front civilians - heroes living right here in Hampton Roads.  

WHRO's local outreach project also supports the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP). Part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, this is a national initiative to collect and archive the personal recollections of U.S. wartime veterans to honor their service and share their stories with current and future generations. The VHP is also seeking stories from home front civilians who worked in support of our armed forces. For more information, please visit the Veterans History Project website.

Ken Burns had this to say about efforts to give even greater meaning to national programming, “ World War II consumed the entire country, but in very different ways. We’re hopeful that through local programming many of the stories of the war that go above and beyond what could be included in any one film are documented and that people throughout the country have an opportunity to share their experiences.”