Summer is off to a great start with Rosie the Riveter friends! In case you didn't know (and it never occurred to you to ask) there is an organization for women who worked on the homefront in World War II, called the American Rosie the Riveter Association. My mother, Dr. Fran Carter, started this organization in 1998 for Rosies and their descendants, and now it has close to 4,000 members in 49 states (anybody know a Rosie in Maine???? Let us know and we'll send her a membership application!!)
Anyway, being in their 80's doesn't slow these women down much! The Birmingham chapter of ARRA has had a busy start to the summer already --
On Memorial Day, May 31, we were proud to be part of the Blue Star Salute at American Village in Montevallo. The ladies had a booth in "the barn" and also participated in the Laying of Memorial Wreaths, a moving ceremony honoring our fallen heroes. And the Rosies rocked! with standing room only in a panel presentation about their work and life on the WW II homefront.
Red, white, and blue tinseled the town - or at least the meeting room - last Saturday, June 5, for the "I Love America" theme of the Birmingham chapter's quarterly meeting. They raised the roof in a sing-along, and several Rosies shared about their work. I could hardly get through singing "The White Cliffs of Dover" - have you ever heard the words to that old song? Thoughts like "There'll be joy and laughter and peace ever after. . . Tomorrow when the world is free. . . Tomorrow, just you wait and see." Well, they did it, the veterans and Rosies of that day. They brought that war around to peace. Now we surely need to do it again.
For someone like me, who wasn't around in the 1940's, the past comes alive with these glimpses through their eyes - how they stepped up and did whatever had to be done during those extraordinary times, never mind that women had never worked at some of those jobs before, and never mind that it had never occurred to them personally to work - that is, until the war came along. Believe it or not, they truly said, "We Can Do It!" and literally rolled up their sleeves to get started. They are amazing women, and it is a pleasure and a privilege to hang around with them and capture their stories.
Now we're off to the national ARRA Convention/Reunion in Nashville, Tennessee, June 25-27. They're a fun bunch, and I'm sure surprises await!