Press Releases

MPTV Seeks WWII Stories

July 30, 2007

The opportunity for veterans and their families to record recollections and stories of World War II is now available on Milwaukee Public Television's website as part of PBS outreach efforts surrounding its new fall series, The War.

The seven-part, 14-hour production premieres on MPTV-10 and MPTV-HD Sunday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. and will continue Sept. 24-26 and Sept. 30, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2. Directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, the series follows the experiences of ordinary men and women from four American towns who become caught up in the Second World War.

MPTV viewers are invited to share their wartime stories and submit photos by visiting and clicking on "The War" icon. They will have the choice of using a computer or a telephone to record their memories. Stories can reflect on life in the homefront or on the battlefield.

Six years in the making, this epic film is reminiscent in scope and power of Burns's landmark series The Civil War. It focuses on the stories of citizens from four geographically distributed American towns -- Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and the tiny farming town of Luverne, Minnesota. These four communities could represent any town in the United States that went through the war's four devastating years.

Individuals from each community take the viewer through their own personal and quite often harrowing journeys into war, painting vivid portraits of how the war dramatically altered their lives and those of their neighbors.

"The Second World War was so massive, catastrophic and complex, it is almost beyond the mind's and the heart's capacity to process everything that happened and, more important, what it meant on a human level," said Burns.

By focusing on the personal stories of ordinary Americans who had extraordinary experiences, the film tries to bring one of the biggest events in the history of the world down to a very intimate scale.