The Switzer Library in Marietta will hold a special panel discussion featuring three World War II veterans on Saturday at 2 pm.
The September 24th program, “Veterans’ Voices: Soldiers’ Stories and the Second World War,” is co-sponsored by the Cobb County Public Library System and Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education. The event is free and open to the public.
The confirmed guest panelists are Marine Harry Kone, Tuskegee Airman Hillard Pouncy and Airman Richard Weber. The men – all currently living in Cobb County – will talk about their World War II experiences and their lives before and after the war.
The three panelists are part of the Legacy Series, an oral history project created in 2013 by the museum of filmed interviews of Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans and home front workers living in the Atlanta area. The films are permanently archived at Kennesaw State University and used in education and museum programming.
There are few opportunities for public discussions in Cobb County of area World War II veterans sharing their personal memories of service and sacrifice.
Various government reports show Cobb County’s population of living World War II veterans is declining significantly as the men and women are in their late 80s and 90s – seven decades after the war.
Cobb County’s population of living World War II veterans is around the 1,000 level, according to estimates based on reports issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The number of World War II veterans living in Cobb is estimated to be about 845 veterans. According to a report by the VA’s National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, Georgia has 13,529 World War II veterans – and Cobb County is 6.24 percent of the statewide World War II veterans population.
A Georgia Department of Veterans Services official said the 845 figure is a sound estimate. There are slight differences in published estimates of veterans populations. Some government estimates show higher figures for Cobb that are still near the 1,000 level.
According to VA reports, Cobb County has replaced Fulton County for the highest overall veterans population of Georgia’s 159 counties. The total population for Cobb is third largest in the state at more than 740,000 people, U.S. Census reports show.
The VA data shows, as of September 2015, Cobb with 47,004 veterans and Fulton at 46,460. Gwinnett County is third highest at 45,449 veterans and next are DeKalb at 37,589 and Chatham at 27,480.
Switzer Library is located at 266 Roswell Street, Marietta 30060. (770) 528-2320.