Monday, June 4, 2007
Ben Meyers
When Ben Meyers was 12, he walked his dog to the park every day to meet his friend Donald. A self-professed history buff, Ben loved hearing colorful stories about the events he had only read about, specifically his friend's experience in the Pacific theater in World War II. His friend Donald was 80 years old.

Ben compiled an oral history for Donald to pass on to his family. That summer, instead of going to camp or loitering around town like other kids his age, Meyers went to the local senior center in Boca Raton, Florida, to offer to take more oral histories. Now 17, he has been there every summer and holiday since, listening and writing.

Ben says he believes every life is important, historic and should be remembered. He's putting that belief into practice: he's building a nonprofit that would expand his mission nationwide, writing a book that explains how to take an oral history, and crafting a formula to trigger memories in Alzheimer's patients using a set of 80 questions. Often called a young Steven Spielberg, creating a next-generation Shoah Project, Ben works passionately to live up to that description.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
What an amazing idea! Ben is leaving a wonderful legacy not only to the impacted families, but to the rest of us as a generation slowly disappears. I will be one of the first in line to buy his book. I'd love to do this with my own family.
I too love to hear history from real people. Keep it up!
Fabulous work! When I was a kid about the same age when Ben started "listening" I did the same thing, listening to old folks tell their stories while sitting on a park bench in my home town. I just never thought to write any of it down... Can't wait to see it!
Ben Myers,
I think what you are doing for those individuals, their families and the people you are encouraging to do the same for their families is absolutely wonderful.
I listened to my father's life story and stories about his experiences during WWII, before he passed away. However, I have only committed to writing a few letters, but not a book, yet. You are my inspiration! Do you have any suggestions on how to get started? Simply, Sonya
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