GOOD

A Mission To Find Every WWII Veteran Before It’s Too Late

There are a few thousand left to share their story

On December 7,1941, following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States of America entered World War II.

Millions of American men and women were called to action to both fight for the nation abroad and to work for the cause in the United States.


While the stories of WWII are often romanticized in Hollywood through movies and television, the real life tales can be much harsher, messier, and more tragic than one could ever imagine. That’s why Rishi Sharma, a 19-year-old from Agoura Hills, California, is crisscrossing the country to capture the true story of war before those memories die with those who lived it.

"I've been one of the many recipients of their sacrifices," Sharma told KPCC, an NPR affiliate station in California. "I feel it is my responsibility to really understand what that bloodshed and sacrifice is like for their generation."

Sharma has been captivated by the stories of veterans since his junior year of high school. The teenager has recorded the stories of more than 400 veterans.

“I spend literally every single day either at a veteran's home, at a senior home, in a hospital, documenting these World War II veterans in—what is for many of them—their dying words,” Sharma said of how his journey began.

Image via GoFundMe

He now records an interview every three days. There, he hears about moments like these from Steve Politis, a 100-year-old veteran who served in the Army Signal Corps and who watched one of his fellow soldiers die:

"When we hit the beach, we were all hit, and the medics couldn't get to us. I could hear him singing ‘I'll Be Seeing You.’ And then he stopped. So, I listened to him die. It still bugs me."

Sharma plans to continue his journey for the next five years, or until the very last story can be shared. Check out his GoFundMe campaign to learn more.

Articles
AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less
Health