Girl Scout Troop 750 strikes a “Rosie the Riveter” pose.
On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and America was drawn into World War II. During the years that followed, America would send 16.1 million men to fight on foreign soil. These men would leave behind a sizeable gap in the US workforce. That gap was filled by women. They were known collectively as Rosie the Riveter.
To ensure the contributions of the Rosies are fully acknowledged, an organization called the “Spirit of 45” is leading a campaign to create a living memorial in the form of a national network of rose gardens called the Rosie the Riveter National Living Memorial.
Weeks Roses of Pomona, Calif., designed a special rose for the National Living Memorials, called the “Rosie the Riveter” rose.
On May 1, members of the Tyndall Air Force Association partnered with the Girl Scouts to dedicate one such garden at the Veterans Park, in Callaway, Fla. The garden is one of the anticipated 435 total gardens to be dedicated in each Congressional district across America.
The ceremony kicked off with a rifle salute by the Tyndall Air Force Base Honor Guard as well as the presentation of the colors by all five branches of the armed forces.
A stone plaque dedicates the memorial.
Tyndall AFA President, SSgt. Edward W. Hood said, “I felt it was very important to have all five branches there to honor the Rosies because the allied forces could not have won the war without their logistical support.” Hood also said, “We hope that the Callaway Rosie the Riveter Memorial Garden will be a model for other AFA chapters and Girl Scout Troops around the country, so we can reach the national campaign goal of having Rosie roses planted in every Congressional District in time for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2020.”
Craig Deatherage, Rep. Neal P. Dunn’s military and veteran affairs liaison, said, “It’s one thing to put up a monument and pressure wash it every 10 years, it’s an entirely different thing to plant a garden and trim that garden, and care for that garden and prune the roses year after year, season after season, and help them grow into a beautiful living example for the women who contributed so much during World War II. These are women who stepped out of their normal roles and went into factories and took on jobs that were nontraditional for women at that time.”
For information on how to get a Rosie the Riveter garden in your area,
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Memorial Day is a time to remember all those who died fighting for their country, just like A1C William Pitsenbarger, an Air Force pararescueman who took part in more than 250 rescue missions before he was killed at the age of 21. His selflessness and valor in the Vietnam War earned him an Air Force Cross and, eventually, a Medal of Honor.
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