Some of the American women who helped win World War II were honored last weekend at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The event coincided with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of World War II.
When American men went off to fight in the early 1940s, women were called upon to help work the assembly lines to produce items needed for the war effort.
The women who answered this call came to be known as ‘Rosie the Riveters’. More than six million female workers helped build the planes, bombs, tanks and other war-time equipment that helped the allies win the war.
The Netherlands Embassy hosted the ceremony to thank these women who came to be known as the ‘Rosies”.
“My country had the opportunity to recover from a brutal occupation and become the prosperous nation it is today, in part, because of your efforts on those assembly lines seven decades ago,” Ambassador Rudolf Bekink said. “For that my nation is forever thankful.”
Fourteen Rosies attended and shared their experiences. Each was given a pink dogwood flower, a symbol of the beauty, strength and positive impact of the Rosies.
The Dutch specifically wanted to thank the women for building the aircraft the allied forces used to deliver 20,000 tons of food to the Netherlands in April and May of 1945, ending a long period of starvation.
Mozelle Brown, who contributed to the war effort by building F4U Corsairs at Goodyear Aircraft in 1942, was surprised by the significant place the Rosies have earned in U.S. history.
“We didn’t realize it at that time, it was just a job that I felt like had to be done, and we were doing it,” Brown said.
The Rosies not only played a significant role in the war effort, they also demonstrated the huge impact women could have on the workforce and in their communities.
Crena Anderson riveted C-119 “Flying Boxcar” transport and cargo planes in Hagerstown, Maryland at the Fairchild Corporation plant.
She had many friends and family fighting in the war, and wanted to do her part to help out back home.
“I knew that there was some men somewhere fighting for our country, and I was replacing them,” Anderson said.