A small group of “Rosies” were honored on Tuesday as part of a National Rosie the Riveter Day celebration meant to highlight the roles played by women in keeping America’s military assembly lines running during WWII. With a shortage of working men back home, women took on vital jobs that had once been performed solely be men — including the production of ships, planes, and war munitions. During the war, women performed approximately 37 percent of all U.S. jobs. By 1945, almost one in four married women worked outside the home.
Marian Sousa, 91, and her sister Phyllis Gould, 95, had long pushed for lawmakers to designate a day recognizing the pivotal role of women in the U.S. war effort. On March 15, the Senate finally passed a resolution designating the new holiday for March 21 as part of a “collective national effort to raise awareness of the 16,000,000 women who worked during World War II.” The holiday was named after iconic war posters from the era that showed a woman in factory clothes, later known as Rosie the Riveter, rolling up her sleeves and pronouncing, “We can do it!”
Sousa and six other women, all in their 80s and 90s, were honored on Tuesday in a ceremony at the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Park in Richmond, California.
“Well, it’s about time,” said Sousa, a former “draftsman” of warship blueprints at Kaiser Shipyards during the 1940s, in response to the announcement. “It shows that women are not only capable now, but they were capable then.”
“The work that women did during the war is totally forgotten,” added Gould. “It shouldn’t be.”
Read the full story at The New York Post.