They were Rosies!
Among our greatest generation, they were Rosies. They were daughters, mothers, sisters, wives and grandmothers who worked during World War II, while our men were fighting overseas.
Hailing from all over our country, from California to Maryland, from small towns and big cities, they became riveters, sanders, welders, crane operators, bus drivers, clerical workers, shipyard workers, Red Cross and USO volunteers, and much more.
Rosies were teenagers, young adults to senior citizens, but they came together with a single purpose, to help with the war effort. These women built 80,000 landing craft, 100,000 tanks, 300,000 aircraft, 15 million guns and 41 billion rounds of ammunition.
They were more than women working together. They also had to nurture their children and worry about their loved ones overseas.
After all these years, and in future years to come, will anyone remember the Rosies and the valuable contributions they made to the United States' successful prosecution of the war?
The purpose of the American Rosie the Riveter Association is to ensure that the legacy of the Rosies is preserved for future generations through the Rosies still living today, their children, grandchildren, their descendants to come and partners who promote their history and their stories.
Saturday, May 25, is National Rosie the Riveter Day. If you know a Rosie, thank her for her service.
If one of your female ancestors — mother, grandmother, aunt — was a Rosie, you should seriously consider writing her story to honor her and record her history for future generations. Use the "Share Your Story" form on the ARRA website. There are also several published books, filled with Rosie stories, and more to come.
To find out more about the American Rosie the Riveter Association and Rosie history, go to http://www.rosietheriveter.net.
The Rosie information I have included in this column is used with permission from Donnaleen Langtree, national president, American Rosie the Riveter Association. It paraphrases her poem, "Our Greatest Generation They were Rosies."
As we observe Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, let us not forget to remember all the military men and women who died in service to our country over all the wars we have fought. I hope you have established a Memorial Day tradition for honoring these heroes.
My two sisters and I have attended a Memorial Day Mass at Resurrection Cemetery, in Clinton, every Memorial Day since 1977. It is an opportunity for us to remember those who gave their lives to ensure our freedom and to pray for the souls of family and friends buried at the cemetery. Our mother, who died Memorial Day weekend in 1977, is buried there — as is our father.