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Editorial: Rosies' impact shines as example yet today

May. 24, 2013 @ 11:22 PM

It's been a big week for the women in West Virginia who filled what has become the iconic role of Rosie the Riveter during World War II.

On Tuesday, a state-owned facility at 2699 Park Ave. in Commerce Park was dedicated as a Rosie the Riveter Building, with a special plaque affixed to the structure. On Wednesday, a series of events included the showing of a documentary film featuring several of the women who kept the factories rolling at home to support the World War II effort, a meeting allowing the public to talk with several Rosies, the unveiling of the first Blenko Glass Co. art to depict Rosies at work and a dinner. That program was fittingly called "Huntington Becomes a Model Rosie the Riveter Community," a distinction the community should be proud of.

Key to making all this happen was Anne Montague, a Charleston woman whose mission has become to honor Rosie the Riveters throughout West Virginia as well as in other states. She founded the organization Thanks! Plain and Simple, and, with the help of volunteers, has undertaken a number of projects honoring the Rosies. Inspired by the fact that her mother worked in a Huntington factory during World War II, Montague has devoted her efforts to ensuring that these women get the recognition they deserve and their stories are preserved for future generations. Her work is much like the work of those who have focused on gathering the stories of the men whom the Rosies replaced in the factories at home.

We join Montague in honoring Rosies not only for their work in supporting the United States' successful war effort during the 1940s, but also for showing the world how capable women are. The latter accomplishment still resonates across the country today.

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