Businesses cooperate with veterans to preserve their histories

November 16, 2012 by  

Members of the Genesee Valley Chapter of Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge are working with Rochester-area printing companies to produce The Battle in Common – a collection of personal stories and photographs recounting the grueling month-long battle in the winter of 1944 – 45.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) College of Imaging Arts & Sciences initiated the project by digitizing the pictures and stories of approximately two dozen veterans who participated. The RIT team then laid out the book and sought the assistance of the business community for its production.

A number of print companies stepped up to undertake the printing, binding, and finishing of The Battle in Common. With the relatively small number of volumes being produced, the project lent itself to digital printing as opposed to the traditional offset process.

The Battle of the Bulge was the last meaningful Nazi offensive. The attack through the Ardennes Forest region of Belgium, France, and Luxembourg was an effort to split the Allies’ line and drive towards the port of Antwerp. The weakness of the Wehrmacht after six months’ retreat following D-Day made it impossible for it to capitalize on its initial success.

The first-person recollections of some of the soldiers who fought through the cold and snow of those weeks, far ahead of their supplies and winter gear, preserve the stories of the men who made history.

Though the Genesee Valley Veterans have officially disbanded their chapter, in light of the diminished mobility of the remaining members, they still gather to participate in ceremonies to mark Memorial and Veterans Days.