History is all around us on various levels. It is the large events, the greater than life people, the social movements. History is also the people whose names we will never know, people seeking better lives or people just living. We can touch history by opening our eyes and looking at our neighbors differently. We have to be willing to ask "who are you and tell me about your life." We need to listen.

This book is an oral history project completed by Assumption High School sophomores. Thirty-one students who set out armed with tape recorders and notebooks, nervously sat down with their grandparents, neighbors and strangers and asked them "what was it like during the war?" The war did not need defining. It was the Great War, the Total War. It was World War II.

The veterans and those who volunteered to sit with these students began to tell about events that had happened to them. They told their stories because someone had taken the time to listen. Through it all we heard people say that they just did what needed to be done. The rationing, long separations, loneliness, boredom, fear and danger, the pain and grief, it just had to endured. No questions, no complaints.

Our job as historians was to record the stories given to us as best we could. Our goal was to let the veterans and the people on the home front talk through these pages as they had talked to us. Sitting at the kitchen table or in the lounge at the Lowell Senior Center, we heard history. These are their stories.