By Jill Parker Landsman
This September NCRF and NCRA recognized and celebrated Representative Ron Kind, from La Crosse, Wis., at the Library of Congress for his 25 years of distinguished service in the U.S. House of Representatives, for the formation of the Veterans History Project, and for his dedication to the court reporting, captioning, legal videography, and scopist professions.
The 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, honored Rep. Kind for his work with the Veterans History Project, a collection of more than 114,000 first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans. The idea for preserving veterans’ experiences, Kind said, was sparked during a Father’s Day barbecue about 20 years ago when he grabbed a video camera to record veterans’ stories for posterity and for his family.
“[W]ith the technology we have today, we need to be doing this nationwide,” Kind said.
NCRA Executive Director Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLC, presented Kind with a distinguished service award during the event, and commended the Congressman for his decades-long contributions to NCRA. “I have worked with Congressman Kind for over 20 years,” Wenhold said. “He has been the champion on the Hill for our profession, and he will be missed. Congressman Kind is the kind of legislator that this country needs, and he came to Washington to make a difference for his constituents and his country. He certainly did that for veterans, reporters and captioners, and countless other groups.”
While Kind expressed gratitude for the recognition, he credits those collecting, transcribing, and cataloging the project for its success over the past two decades. Since Kind’s wife, Tawni, a member of NCRA who holds the RMR, CRR, and CRC, nationally recognized certifications, served as a court reporter, Kind arranged for the National Court Reporters Foundation to enlist court reporter volunteers to transcribe the veterans’ oral histories. To date, the Veterans History Project has collected more than 4,500 transcripts produced by NCRA members who volunteer to work on the oral history videos.
Additionally, Kind gave the library a gift. As co-chair of the Congressional U.K. Caucus, he presented Dr. Hayden with a scroll commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing the Atlantic.
During the ceremony, Kind shared the story of how his ancestor, John Howland, was a passenger on the Mayflower, during which time Howland fell overboard but was rescued by the ship’s crew. Kind credited that voyage with salvaging his lineage. Kind is the longest-serving Democrat in Wisconsin’s delegation, and his district spans southwestern Wisconsin.
Jill Parker Landsman is the National Court Reporters Foundation Manager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the Veterans History Project