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Working to preserve the faces of WWII veterans in Greenfield

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GREENFIELD, Ind. (July 2, 2015) - The work is incredibly tedious, time consuming, and rewarding. Three people in Greenfield spend time every week preserving hundreds of pictures of local World War Two veterans.

The job isn’t easy, but they’re more than happy to do it.

Nearly 1,000 pictures were almost lost forever. They are the faces of family and friends who fought in World War Two.

The work now is well under way to make sure those faces are never forgotten.

“These were essentially forgotten and I don’t fault those people for that. When they collected these pictures and they put them up, when the war was over, they put it behind them,” said Dave Goodrich, a volunteer working to preserve the pictures.

For decades, hundreds of pictures of World War Two veterans sat in frames in the basement of the Greenfield Memorial Building. City employee and Greenfield native Jim McWhinney knew they couldn’t stay there.

“That was my first goal is to get them off the walls and to get them to a safe area. One was to protect them and second of all, people couldn’t get down there anyway to see them,” he said.

McWhinney brought the pictures from the basement in an attempt to give them new life. The faces of almost 1,000 World War Two veterans from Greenfield and Hancock County are now the center of attention for three volunteers and local history buffs, working to preserve them.

This tiny team of volunteers has scanned 270 pictures, some with names and locations, and others with barely any information at all.

“Pictures from a historical standpoint say everything, they capture everything and they tell more than just the person’s face,” said volunteer Greg Roland.

The work takes time. The team meets only once a week. But the goal is clear, to honor those that served, and sacrificed, all from this same Central Indiana city. One day creating an online archive accessible by anyone from anywhere to view the veterans.

“These were important people to them, so it seems a shame to just let them languish, so someone has to do it, why not us?” said Goodrich.

The group has about 710 pictures left to scan and document. They are looking for more pictures and volunteers to help in the preservation efforts. If you’d like to help, you can call the city of Greenfield at (317)477-4340.