Kate De Groote has always been fascinated with history—specifically, how the past affects the future. She says her interest “mainly spawned” from her parents’, Michael and Barbara, interest in the past; but it has been the National History Day program that has allowed her to delve deeper and focus on specific events. The program begins at the regional level and for those who win, progresses to state and national competitions—something Kate did in 2016. A sophomore at Skyline High School, Kate wrote and performed a “live” 10-minute sketch on Joan of Arc. “I basically told her story, why she’s significant today and how she’s impacted the future.”

While at nationals in Washington D.C., Kate applied to record veterans’ histories for the National World War II Museum. In recent years, the museum has turned to the history program to find “passionate young people who enjoy helping and have skills in filming, interviewing and documenting history.” As part of the application process, Kate connected with the Utah Honor Flight program to gain access to Utah veterans. The museum will provide Kate with questioning techinques “but they really want the veterans to just speak about their lives, mainly we want to hear straight from them.” Kate’s mom indicated that the Utah Division of State History has offered equipment for Kate to use.

Since the number of World War II veterans are rapidly declining, Kate says, “We need to do all we can to preserve their stories. I’m thrilled to be part of the process.” If you’re willing to have Kate ask your WWII veteran a few questions, please contact her at degroote@q.com. —VALOR

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