Rishi Sharma has spent about three years travelling across the U.S. on a mission to interview Second World War veterans and document their experiences in battle before it’s too late — and now he’s doing the same in Toronto.
Sharma, 20, founded Heroes of the Second World War, a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to film veterans and record their legacies for them and their families. He said he has conducted 870 interviews and raised $100,000 in donations, which goes toward website upkeep and a stipend for food and travel.
“They saved the world. I owe my life to them, and I want to be able to meet and document the reality of combat and what they had to go through, so that when future generations, who are not fortunate enough to get meet these heroes face-to-face, understand they’re living on borrowed time”, said Sharma.
The Agoura Hills, Calif., resident came to Canada to continue his work, which includes interviewing members of the joint Canadian-American First Special Service Force that was active between 1942 and 1944. While attending a reunion in Sacramento, Calif., last July, Sharma said he was connected to members and other veterans north of the border.
So far, he’s conducted five interviews since arriving in the country on Sunday from Colorado.