Voice of the people
Honoring Rosies was worthwhile
Recently it was my great honor to attend an event on behalf of the WV AFL-CIO in Huntington along with Karen Shipley, USW District 8 staff representative and District 8 Women of Steel coordinator. The event was to honor an often forgotten group of workers who without their selfless efforts and sacrifices we may be living in a totally different country without the freedoms we enjoy today. The event was to honor the West Virginia Rosie the Riveters, and made possible through an organization called Thanks, Plain and Simple, Inc. and Ann Montague, its director.
Twenty-five wonderful West Virginia ladies were on hand to share their stories as well as the unveiling of a special artwork made by Blenko Glass that will remain displayed at Pullman Plaza Hotel. The ladies' stories made you laugh and some made you cry; all of them made you proud.
Six million men were deployed overseas during World War II, and six million women entered the workforce to aid in the war effort. I guess being a union person all my life, I was struck when they said one day the boss came to them and said the war is over, here is your final check and sent them home. However, every one of them said they were glad to go home and were proud of the job they did, and discovered something about themselves in rising to the challenge.
Thanks, Plain and Simple's goal is to establish similar groups in all the states to tell these remarkable women's stories before it is too late. You can go online at www.AmericanRosie.org, or contact Ann Montague at 304-776-4743 if you are interested in starting a chapter in your state or know of a Rosie that needs her story told.
SOAR Board Member
USW District 8
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