Press Release from Bristol Productions

Washington State WWII documentary receives national acclaim

OLYMPIA, WA -- A locally produced documentary, WHEN WE WERE KIDS… WE WENT TO WAR recently received five national awards*. This emotionally charged documentary, featuring over 60 Washington State residents, provides a glimpse into the personal side of WWII by those who experienced combat on the front lines as well as those who served on the home front.

Over five years in the making, the documentary is the result of a dream of some Washington State WWII veterans who felt it was important to tell their own stories in their own words before they pass away.

“This is about real people, real choices, and real experiences,” said Bill Merifield, Chairman of the WWII Memorial Educational Foundation. “There were many challenges and trauma during that difficult time in our nation’s history. From the challenges of gas rationing, selling bonds, collecting tin and entering the workforce for the first time, to the trauma of internment and loss of loved ones. All of these stories tell us what life was like during a wartime era.”

The award-winning documentary is only one element of the larger project titled The Voices of WWII. It includes documenting additional oral histories of WWII era citizens, an educational web site complete with classroom lesson plans, and teacher in-service workshops presented statewide during the 2002-2003 school year.

“Washington State is way ahead of the game in terms of capturing the essence of WWII oral history.” Karl Schmidt Executive Director of Bristol Productions Ltd from Olympia, producer of the documentary said. “There are groups all across the U.S. recording these valuable stories, but they don’t make them accessible.
We not only have completed the documentary that will air on some PBS affiliates, but we have created an educational web site,, where the more than 200 hours of oral history transcripts will be available for research by teachers, students, historians, and most importantly family members.”

This fall the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will distribute 2,000 WWII Voices In the Classroom kits to Washington schools so they arrive just prior to Veterans Day. The kit contains the award-winning documentary When We Were Kids… We Went to War, a CD with educational lesson plans, and access to the web site.

“This is an amazing project on many levels, and I have been honored to work on it” Schmidt said. “Teachers rave about how their students connect with this on a very personal level, especially in light of the tragedies of September 11. And a generation that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country got to tell their true story for generations to come. They do not brag or boast, they just tell us about a job that had to be done, how they did it, and how they felt about it.”

*When We Were Kids… We Went to War, has recently received the following awards

1 Aurora Platinum Best of Show Documentary Historical Event
1 Telly Finalist History/Biographical
1 Telly Finalist Documentary Category
1 AXIEM Silver Educational Category
1 AXIEM Silver Documentary Category

For more information about the awards go to:

For more information about the documentary and educational website contact :
Karl G. Schmidt
Bristol Productions Ltd.
2401 Bristol Court SW
Olympia, WA 98502 tel : (360) 754-4260

Final Thoughts (extrait de la vidéo When we were kids...we went to war).
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Souvenirs de la guerre aérienne
The Air War in Retrospect