Updated: Jun 6, 2022
For my Aunt Rae, what was really important was doing good. Not setting a goal or vision of doing good. But actually taking action to help make the world a better place, while also taking care of family. During World War II, like other Rosie the Riveters, she served in a factory as a war production worker.
Later, while her children were growing up, she became an elementary school teacher in a public school, attended by children of different backgrounds. After that teaching stint, she worked for service organizations, and after she stopped working full time, she continued to serve the community as a volunteer.
For Aunt Rae, grunt work was part of the game, part of life. Serving in a factory was what was needed during the Second World War, though she was armed with a college degree from Pembroke College. While her husband commanded one of the first tanks into Germany to free those who were suffering during the Holocaust, she, like other Rosie the Riviters, women who worked in factories, was keeping the economy going back home, and providing needed supplies for war efforts.
On September 10, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said, “I am proud to announce that the Department of Labor will honor and celebrate the ‘Rosies,’ women who helped our nation win World War II and changed the way our country thinks about women in the workplace." He continued, “By inducting the ‘Rosies’ into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor, we recognize the contributions they made and the changes they inspired.”
The public is invited to honor a past or living WWII Home Front Worker by having a banner displayed outside, next to the Rosie the Riiveter Museum in Richmond, CA. The WWII Home Front Worker Wall of Honor collection is currently installed adjacent to the visitor center at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. The Rosie the Riveter Trust invites the public to "be a part of beautifying this section of the Bay Trail and furthering our mission of Sharing Stories and Preserving History! Thousands of people will see and know the role your home front worker played during one of the most important eras in American history for years to come."
No matter what your views are, doing good, making the world a better place for all, is what I
learned from my Aunt Rae and other Rosie the Riveters.