WAUKESHA, WIS.— Patricia Gardner, an adjunct lecturer of history at Carroll University, recently published her 10-year project, “Chords of Memory, Volume 2: World War II Stories of Waukesha Families, Friends and Neighbors.” The 348-page anthology is a tribute to the local men and women who served in some capacity during a defining conflict of the 20th century.
The project began in 2003 with the aid of Gardner’s history students at Waukesha South High School, who conducted a series of interviews with World War II veterans that ultimately included all branches of the armed forces and spanned every theater of war. Personal accounts from 28 individuals include oral interviews, letters home, poetry, a D-Day logbook, POW diaries, and original photos and art. This anthology also includes original stories and poems written by the Waukesha South students.
“Only five vets are alive today among the 28 we interviewed, so it is truly an honor and a rare privilege to preserve their stories,” Gardner said.
Her first collection, “Chords of Memory: Immigration Stories of Waukesha Friends, Families and Neighbors,” was published in 2009. Both books had grant funding from the Waukesha Education Foundation.
Gardner has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history, and 20 years of teaching experience. At Carroll University, she teaches The Rise of Western Civilization, and for the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha Continuing Education Program, she teaches The History I Wish I Had Learned in School. These courses cover the Civil War, World War II in Europe and the Holocaust, and World War II in the Pacific and on the home front. In June 2014, she will present a week-long Civil War experience at The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay, Wis. Gardner has presented workshops at the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies Convention on hands-on strategies for teaching the history and development of the U.S. Constitution, historical literacy through documents and creative writing, and immigration studies. She also has presented sessions for the BIG READ in Waukesha and for the Waukesha County Historical Society. She is a member of the Milwaukee Civil War Roundtable.