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Lake Virtual School student launches website to highlight WWII veterans' stories

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Benjamin Mack-Jackson was in the fifth grade when he thumbed through the pages of his history textbook and discovered his passion.

 
“The World War II section inspired me,’’ he said. “I’ve been interested in it since then.”
 
Today, Benjamin is a 13-year-old 8th grade student with Lake County Virtual School and the founder of The World War II Veterans History Project, dedicated to “preserving the memories of the men and women who saved our country and the world.” 
 
He created the project on his own time without any extra credit from teachers or public recognition, until now. 
 
The highlight of the project is a website at www.ww2veteranshistoryproject.com, which features interviews with WWII veterans talking about their combat experiences, and it invites others to do the same. Every veteran who participates is asked about 20 questions during a video-recorded interview. If video is not possible, interviews can be done by phone or email. 
 
“I have been truly fascinated about our country’s military history and the history of America ever since I laid eyes on pictures of combat,’’ he says in the “Message from the Founder” on his website. “I have always been grateful to the veterans who saved our country from two of the greatest enemies the world has ever faced – Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. I now have the opportunity to interview these brave men and women who fought on the front lines against fearsome and merciless foes.”
 
Benjamin encourages others to start similar conversations with veterans and make them part of the project. He will provide the questions to anyone who asks and post the interviews on the website.
 

“I believe the younger generation of America needs to open their eyes and truly realize what these men and women did for us,’’ he writes. “By sharing their stories, I hope to do just that.”