Inspirational Stories & Resources

Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

America’s Cemetery features separate monuments to honor the veterans of World War I, World War II, The Korean War, and Vietnam. This is America’s Cemetery not just because of its patriotic symbols and the great number of veterans buried here. It also offers every burial option available in the country today: traditional in-ground, interment in mausoleums, cremation burials and niches, and green burial. America’s Cemetery made history by becoming the first cemetery in the country with a pet funeral home and crematory, as well as hillside gardens for the burial of pets or people with their pets.

The Avenue of Flags – was started as a reaction to the Iranian Hostage Crisis (which began November 4, 1979). As the captivity of 52 Americans dragged on and on, Tom Flynn, owner of Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, PA, felt compelled to do something significant to focus attention on the situation. He raised a large American flag and smaller state flags in a circle around it at the entrance to the park. After three months with no resolution, Tom felt compelled to do more. Flagpoles were donated and installed along the avenue leading into the Park. On the 100th day of captivity, in a ceremony attended by a thousand patriotic citizens, Harry Matrinko, father of hostage Michael Matrinko, raised the 100th flag. One was raised every day the crisis went on past 200, 300, 400 days. Three rows of flags continued up the Avenue and around the circle that now holds the War on Terror Veterans Memorial. The last flag was raised on January 20, 1981, 444 days after the embassy had been surrendered.