OSB and OCRA partner on Veteran History Project – Press Release


CONTACT:    Robin Nodland, President
Oregon Court Reporters Association

OSB and OCRA partner on Veteran History Project

ʺOral history is a history built around people. It thrusts life into history itself and widens its scope. It allows heroes not just from the leaders, but from the unknown majority of the people. It brings history into, and out of, the community. It helps the less privileged, and especially the old, towards dignity and self‐confidence. It makes for contactand thence understandingbetween social classes and between generations… oral history offers a challenge to the accepted myths of history, to the authoritarian judgment inherent in its tradition. It provides a means of a radical transformation of the social meaning of history.ʺ

– Thompson, Paul: The Voice of the Past, Oxford U. Press, 3d Ed. 2000.

PORTLAND, Oregon, March 19, 2014 – The Oregon State Bar’s Military and Veterans Law Section and the Oregon Court Reporters Association have joined forces to form an Oregon Veterans History Project.  Working to create submissions to the Library of Congress, this partnership collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.  In addition to audio- and video-recorded interviews, VHP accepts memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts.

Mark Ronning, Chair of OSB’s Military and Veterans Law Section, is encouraging OSB members to volunteer to interview a veteran or, if they are a veteran themselves, to volunteer to give their oral history.   “Oregon has over 300,000 veterans. As time goes on, more and more war veterans pass away and the details of their stories are lost.  War veterans are often hesitant to talk about their experiences, but they are often the last witnesses to the sacrifice and bravery of others who did not survive the war or have since passed. The events they witnessed firsthand and their memories of their comrades in arms need to be preserved,” said Mr. Ronning.

OCRA president and court reporter Robin Nodland will be coordinating the court reporters’ and videographers’ support of this important project. “The members of the Oregon Court Reporters Association are very excited to be a part of this effort. The firsthand accounts will be archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for use by researchers and to serve as an inspiration for generations to come, making accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war,” said Ms. Nodland.

On February 18, the project recorded its first oral history of Vietnam veteran and former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Paul J. De Muniz.  The Chief was interviewed by his former law clerk, current Captain in the National Guard and associate with Barran Liebman, LLP, Sam Hernandez.

OCRA volunteer court reporters and videographers record the interview and produce a transcript and DVD for submission to the Library of Congress, along with photos and other documents donated by the veteran.  OSB volunteers conduct the interviews.  The oral histories are scheduled to occur the third Tuesday of each month, following the Military and Veterans Law Section meetings at the Bar’s offices.

The project is asking for OSB members to volunteer to interview a veteran and, if you are a veteran, to be interviewed and give your oral history.  Gretchen Magarro, media specialist at LNS Court Reporting & Captioning and U.S. Navy veteran, is the contact person for this project.  To volunteer, please contact Gretchen at gmagarro@LNScourtreporting.com, or 503-299-6200.

About OCRA

Oregon Court Reporters Association, 145 members strong, develops leadership and direction for the court reporting profession in the state of Oregon; advocates ethical standards, quality service, educational opportunities, and technological advancements for its members; promotes the services of our profession to the client base; acts as liaison between the profession and the local, state, and national client groups; enhances understanding and good will among the members and the public. OCRA also supports expanding roles for court reporters in litigation support, CART, and broadcast captioning services; sponsors continuing education programs for professional court reporters; assists in the professional certification examinations for court reporters; is active in the Oregon Legislature through efforts of OCRA’s lobbying team; conducts meetings of its Board of Directors to develop association goals and implement new programs; participates in a mentoring program for court reporting students; provides court reporting services through its active pro bono partnership with the Oregon State Bar Association. OCRA is a 503(C)(6) nonprofit organization. OCRA is currently working to promote the use of court reporters in our State court system and towards a mandatory CSR.  For more information, visit ORCRA.org.


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