Rishi Sharma is on a mission to talk to World War II Veterans and record their experiences.
“My biggest heroes are the combat Veterans of World War II,” Sharma said.
The 18-year-old has completed more than 100 interviews with WWII Veterans and he films most of them. These in-depth interviews range from four to seven hours. Sharma is fascinated by the insight these Veterans share with him and wants to capture their stories.
Sharma’s efforts are similar to Library of Congress’ Veteran History Project, the nation’s oral history collection of Veterans and their service. Sharma, however, is focusing specifically on WWII Veterans and his interviews are in much longer form than the usual VHP submission.
He wants to understand these Veterans and what they endured during the war. Sharma’s admiration for these heroes has him in constant pursuit for more stories and more subjects. His goal is to do an interview everyday, as he knows his opportunity to talk with WWII Veterans lessens each year. He hopes his efforts remind these Veterans how grateful he is for their sacrifice and he is trying to be an outlet for them to express their recollections and thoughts regarding the war in a “censor-free environment.”
“I am giving the Greatest Generation the opportunity to share their wartime experiences and life advice for future generations,” Sharma said. “There is no commercial aspect to this and the interviews are given to the Veterans so that they may pass it down to their families.”
The Veterans are given full rights to their footage and even provided a DVD of the interview.