Denison working on collecting pictures, histories of veterans

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DENISON, TX -- Being the land of Eisenhower and the famous Perrin Air Force Base, Denison is rich in World War II history.

Now the city is starting a new effort to make sure the stories from that era are not forgotten.

James Farris enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1941 and served in WWII.

"I became an expert in aircraft maintenance and toured the world so to speak," he said.

His story is one of many the city is trying to capture.

Main Street Director Donna Dow said the first project is collecting pictures of veterans for their wall of honor display during the month of October.

"For our wall of honor we want veterans of all wars, conflicts, just if you were in the service."

But she said they plan to one day make the display into a permanent museum, complete with video histories of veterans.

"We don't want to lose any more of our veterans histories. They've got some wonderful, tragic stories to tell and it just shapes our society, and it's very important that we understand those," she said.

They're in the process of collecting as many video oral histories as they can - something Farris feels is invaluable.

"It joined us to people around the world in a way that we could have never have had happened before without having been through that terrible world war," he said.

Dow said they're looking for stories like Dave Williams, who escorted President Lyndon Johnson on his trip to Bonham.

What lessons does he want to pass on to future generations?

"Love of country, honor, and commitment to duty," he said.

Dow said WWII is very important to Denison.

"It's what our community was based on. With Perrin Air Force Base, so many lives were changed and molded here," she said.

She said after they finish collecting WWII histories, they'll move on to other wars.

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