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Model Cities

These cities have gone above and beyond to honor the legacy of Rosies.

This year, as people to join the Ring a Bell for Rosies across America and in several other nations, we shine the spotlight on six locations – small cities to large metro areas – that have done excellent work with Rosies, “Thanks!”, and many who partner to show unity around the meaning of Rosies.

The Rosie work of these small cities and large metro areas will help you see that:

1.   People want to unify by doing something meaningful to them;

2.   Many kinds of work can be done that strengthen the whole;

3.   Many kinds of people in many kinds of places will unify;

4.   Women and seniors are good at encouraging cooperation;

5.   People need to unify at this significant time in human history;

All bell ringing will be at 1:00 on Sept. 3, no matter where you are in the world. At that time, we will feature the six model locations. Places in the United States are in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone because the model place in the Netherlands is six hours ahead. Thus, 1:00 their time will be 7:00 a.m. Eastern time in the US. (In future years, model locations will be in additional time zones.)

Brunswick, Maryland

Starting in 2011, Brunswick has loved and respected Rosies so much that we should write a book about them. We awarded them the first Model Bluebird for Rosies City in America in 2012.

Male and female bluebirds. Brunswick is the first model Bluebirds for Rosies city in America. Bluebirds represented hope in World War II music.
Brunswick invited the owner of this car from Pennsylvania to help celebrate Rosies at an event.

Some things they have done, with exceptional help from Tim Wilson

  • Included Rosies in every Veterans Day Parade.

  • Installed a bluebird nest trail under the direction of Kathy Kremnitzer.

  • Planted a dogwood tree at the historic railroad station.

  • Accompanied us to Frederick (the county seat) for Ruth Staples to be interviewed by Frederick Magazine.

  • Took Crena Anderson (a Rosie) to dinner often and helped her move.

  • Arranged for the bell in the city park of Frederick to be rung several years.

  • Took a Rosie to speak at the WWII Memorial in Washington and to Dulles international airport to fly to the Netherlands.

Today, Karin Tome, the previous Mayor, is planning the Sept. 3 event, which is to be a surprise for all, including Ruth Staples, who will attend if COVID rules permit.

 

A Ruth Staples Boarderprint showing the work of Rosies
Ruth Staples hangs a birdhouse in this image, showing off the quality work of the Rosies.
Ruth Staples hanging a bluebird house

Camden , South Carolina

This small city has connected to many other places that honor the Rosie Legacy.

Tree Planting

Col. Ceryl Johns, US Air National Guard (Retired) has been a true facilitator of Rosie work from Camden to other places.Over the years, Col. Johns brought his mother, Elsie Johns, from Wales to Camden and other states. She worked in London factory at age 14.

While in the U.S., Elsie:

  • Helped plant the first dogwood tree in St. Albans, WV.

  • Met several American Rosies, and was in parades with them.

  • Was interviewed by Thanks! with another British defense worker in Maryland.

  • Arranged to bring the wing of a Corsair airplane secretly signed by Rosies to Yeager International Airport so that Rosies who helped build it in Akron, Ohio could see it.

  • Spoke at the event where the UK said “Thanks!” to American Rosies at a historically Black University, WVSU.

  • Spoke at the naming of the government building named for Rosies in Huntington, WV

  • Invited Rosies to Columbia, SC for a two-day celebration where they met Tuskegee Airmen and The SC Dept. of Education

  • Clarified with many locations that Rosies did not have to be riveters.

  • Planted a dogwood tree with a plaque in Camden, with a full ceremony.

Today:

Camden’s Mayor, Alfred Drakeford (pictured here), is helping her community to find Rosies of Color. We also plan to bring a Rosie from North Carolina to Camden to celebrate the event on Sept. 3.

Col. Johns is:

  • Reuniting 81 World War II graves sites of RAF trainee pilots killed and buried in USA with their families

  • Arranging for a P57 Mustang Aircraft to fly over full size model of while commemorating the Tuskegee Airmen at Shaw AFB in 2021

Huntington, West Virginia

Greater-Huntington, West Virginia started working with Rosies in 2010. 

In 2010, various people and organizations started working with Rosie in Greater-Huntington, WV, a city on the Ohio River that borders Kentucky and Ohio. Rosies from Huntington worked both there and across America.

Rosie work” done by individuals, businesses, schools, and government, include:

  • Named a state government building the “Rosie the Riveter Complex”

Organized a Ring a Bell for Rosies event every year since 2016

  • Helped find Rosies for our documentary film who worked

  • Installed a permanent display in a known hotel (it is now rotated to all library branches)

  • Created a faceted-glass display of a Rosie working on the Railroad (at Blenko Glass)

  • Hosted the National Association of Manufacturers (at the Woodlands Retirement Center and the RCBI Flexible Manufacturing Institute

  • Installed bluebird nest boxes by the DAR and the American Legion

  • Planted Dogwood trees at the Huntington Museum of Art and a community park

  • Included Marshall University students to make a Public Service Announcement, video tape Rosies, notate the Rosie theme song, present to students on non-profit management, and design this website.

  • Invited Rosies into middle-school classrooms

  • Travelled to Washington for special events on Capitol Hill, World War II Memorial.

Plans Underway Are:

  • Celebrate Rosies on Sept. 3, 2021 at the Woodlands, where two Rosies live

  • Work with Carolyn Becker to write a new Rosie song

  • Film the preparation and the celebration

Some long-term supporters include:

  • Civic groups, including the Woman’s Club of Huntington, the DAR, and the American Legion

  • Huntington Middle School

  • Marshall University’s Computer Science Department

  • Mayor’s Office, City of Huntington

  • Fire Department, City of Huntington

  • Cabell County Public Library which rotates the Rosie display to it’s branches

  • Huntington Art Gallery

  • Wayne County Commissioners

  • RCBI Flexible Manufacturing Institute

  • Pullman Plaza Hotel (now under new ownership)

  • Corporations such as Blenko Glass, Chapman Industries, and Woodlands Retirement Center

 Special thanks goes to: Kenny Smith, Pamela McCoy, Dr. Wook-Sung Yoo, and Carolyn Becker

Special thanks goes to Jewell Matthews, Pamela McCoy, and Kenny Smith for truly exceptional work behind the scenes.

There is a building named Rosie in Huntington, WV.
The Rosie the Riveter Complex in Greater Huntington WV

People from several states came to the christening of this building in May, 2013. As far as we know, this is the only government building named for Rosies in the US.

Leaders in government, business, and education can help you find a building to name for Rosies. If you can’t find or get permission for a building, try to name a room, a street, or an interstate highway bridge for Rosies.

Remember, if it’s government, it may take time, but it’s worth the effort.

Nijmegan and Grosbeek, Netherlands

Starting in early 2015, the Embassy in Washington started including Rosies in the celebration of the end of World War in Europe. With the help of Hugo Keesing, the area of Grosbeek and the National Liberation Museum in Nijmegen have:

  • The National Liberation Museum (now called the Freedom Museum) hosted Rosies twice, once in May 2015, and again in January 2017. Each of these exceptional visits should be a film someday to express the deeply human stories of Dutch people, the historic hotel, and the Rosies gratitude to meet and learn from the people they helped to liberate. (An unpublished photo book is available on request.)

  • The museum has taken part in Ring A Bell for Rosies events every year, starting in 2016.

  • The King and Queen of the Netherlands came to Arlington Cemetery to meet four Rosies, in June 2015, which was a result of the media coverage that the Freedom Museum arranged a month before.

  • Rensè Havinga, Director of the Freedom Museum, conducted research at Martin Marietta in Baltimore, which led to a Rosie display at the Museum.

  • Dutch people arranged for us to know some of the many citizens who worked so well to thank Rosies, including:

  • A family that Hosted our teen assistant, Nick Withrow,

  • A hostess who held a dinner at her home so that Rosies and “Thanks!” so that we could know some of the citizens who had helped arrange the visit.

  • Groups made the round trip twice to and from Grosbeek and the Amsterdam airport.

  • A witness to the bombing of Nijmegen, now in her 90s, told the story at the location of her father’s shop, during the war.

 

  • In 2017, the region arranged for Anna Hess, a Rosie from Morgantown, WV and Maartin Vossen to unveil a monument at the place where an American soldier, James Wickline, an American paratrooper, died. (Vossen made a documentary film of his search for this soldier over his adolescent and young adult years, which is titled Ageless Friends.)

In addition to a full day to honor Rosies on Sept. 3, 2021, future plans are:

  • Work with Frank Mehring, Ph.D., a German-born specialist in American Culture who teaches at a college in Nijmegen, on several projects.

  • Engage writers for articles, books, plans and/or film about human side of war that the Rosie-Dutch experiences have revealed.

  • Work with Wiel Lenders, Ph.D. and others to develop lesson plans about Rosies that will help educate youth in many places about the past, present and future of the Rosie Legacy.

  • Note: The Dutch were occupied during the war, even though they declared themselves neutral. The people were starving by the end of the year.

  • The work of the Grossbeek region is an example of what can be done if we unify across boundaries.

 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In about 2014, “Thanks!” was invited to speak at Widener College, west of Philadelphia. That led “Thanks!” to consider that Greater Philly might be Model Rosie City, since the plan was to expand our work with many partners, to include larger cities, then all of America, so that all who those advocating for Rosies, as well as Rosies, would be better known and supported.

Just three examples of Rosies who have helped in Philadelphia are in this photo taken at the Liberty Ring a Bell for Rosies event in 2017.

  • Rosie Shelengian, a Rosie whose parents escaped the Armenian genocide, and whose bright spirit is with us after her death from COVID. See her obituary online.

  • Florence Thompson, at the Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Chester, PA, which primarily employed African Americans. Rosies worked in all capacities – welders, chippers, riveters, and more. Florence was an office worker in human resources. The director was Emmett Scott, who had been the secretary to Booker T. Washington. She is in the documentary film called, Invisible Warriors, produced by Gregory Cooke.

  • June Robbins, a Rosie who worked at the Philadelphia Shipyards as a drafter of ship parts, while her mother riveted airplanes at the shipyards. June is world-wise and known for getting things done, is on our Board of Directors, and is a certified professional clown.

  • Philadelphians are diverse – they represent many racial groups, political views, religions, ages, and income levels.

  • In addition to the Sept. 3 Ring a Bell for Rosies, which will be held at the Chapel of the Four Chaplains and the Philadelphia shipyards, future plans are:

  • Artists will design and paint a mural on the side of a large building in Philly

  • Veterans will host a Rosie at the Veterans’ Memorial on Veterans Day

  • The Museum of Industry will honor Rosies when COVID restrictions are over

 

Scouts with Rosies

Much has happened in Greater Philly, with both Rosie-advocates who work with us and those who work alone. Work done that helps prepare people for the American Rosie Movement includes:

  • The National Park Service allowed us to hold Ring a Bells for Rosie ceremonies at the Liberty Bell, starting in 2016.

  • The Chapel of the Four Chaplains:

    • Gave awards to Cass Forkin, a Rosie Advocate, and June Robbins

    • Arranged for Mae Krier to be filmed for a Labor Day celebration at the Embassy of the Netherlands, on Sept. 3, 2020

    • Attended US Capitol Grounds and the Netherlands Embassy events

  • A retirement center in Media, PA:

    • allowed a dogwood tree to be planted to represent Rosies, and they honored eight Rosies at a luncheon

  • Girl Scout helped several events, including:

      • A troop whose jackets show a Rosie with a robotic arm in the air

      • The Eastern Chapter of Girl Scouts honored a Rosie at their conference

  • AKCG (a PR firm) gave “Thanks!” in-kind contribution for public awareness

  • Bonnie Squires who interviewed Janice Gorson, a Rosie on her program

  • Joi Spraggins, Ph.D. who represented Philadelphians at the Ring a Bell for Rosies event at the Netherlands Embassy, in 2020

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer ran several articles about Rosies

  • The Philadelphia Girl’s Choir who sang the Rosie the Riveter theme song

Greater Washington Area

Many women worked in secretarial and other jobs to help the federal government do the herculean work to plan and manage the war effort.

Just three examples of Rosies who helped in the Greater Washington area are:

  1. Edie Lyons was a secretary assigned to many places that reported evaluations of pilots, supplies, progress reports and more.

  2. Betty Arbuckle worked as an FBI agent fingerprinting and researching the backgrounds of prisoners of war and others.

  3. One woman (she wants to be anonymous) was a secretary in the office of the Secretary of War, who did not realize that she was recording statements of war prisoners and others that prepared for the Nuremburg Trials. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsA6AdCRI-k

     

    Thus far, we have felt that our efforts to engage Congress should be with the help of people throughout America to make their Senators and Representatives aware of their local Rosie projects and how these fit into the whole of the American Rosie Movement. This will take time because it focuses on many Rosies, project and places. (Ask us for a document that outlines actions that all Americans can ask the Congress and the Executive Branch to take.)

    Currently, we are working with people in Greater-Washington to help find Rosies, especially those who worked for the government.

 

Since 2014, the ways Greater-Washington has helped us prepare for ARM include:

  • The National Park Service help us hold the first Ring a Bell for Rosies event at the Netherlands Carillon on the George Washington Parkway in Arlington.
  • The National Cathedral gave us use of the Bishops Garden for the Ring a Bell for Rosies event in 2018, rang bells for Rosies at the cathedral on two days, and recognized them in the Sunday service.
  • The Spirit of ’45 invited “Thanks!” and Rosies to speak two years at the World War II Memorial.
  • Dulles Airport hosted Rosies for several hours before a trip to the Netherlands in 2017.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, in Arlington, advised us and attended many events in Metro-Washington.
  • The National Association of Manufacturing answered our request to have a Rosie, Anna Hess, speak at their annual Step program, at the Reagan Building, in 2017.
  • Women in Film and Video advised about many issues and helped us find photographers.
  • Embassies from four countries have thanked Rosies in these ways:
  • The Embassies of Belgian and the United Kingdom Embassies sent emissaries to thank American Rosies in 2009 and 2011.
  • The Embassy of France hosted Rosies in conjunction with Liberation Route Europe.
  • The Netherlands Embassy, with help from Hugo Keesing, has been exceptional in celebrating Rosies and their legacy in many ways. (We have a photo-book, called The Dutch and Rosies Connection, that will be published after next events take place.)
  • Ring a Bell for Rosies event in 2016.
  • Capitol Police who allowed us to hold a A Ring a Bell for Rosies event on Capitol Grounds at the Taft Carillon in 2019, which included:
  • Twenty selected guests, some from government agencies, such as the Department of Labor.
  • Jennifer Porter was speaker from Mayor Murial Bowswer’s office.
  • The Girl Scout who started the Ring a Bell for Rosies in 2016.
  • Women in Military Service to America is working with Col. Johns from Camden, SC to have a display of Rosies at their location.

We have proudly helped other groups to get Congressional action, such as Twilight Wish from Philadelphia to get a national Rosie the Riveter Day and the DAR in Arlington who accompanied Mae Krier, a Rosies, to visit the offices of all state’s Members of Congress.

The American Rosie Movement