Women were painted on the sides of B-52’s and were plastered inside the lockers of many a soldier or sailor during the war. But that wasn’t the only place women could be found during that tumultuous period in American history. For the first time, we were asked to hang up our aprons and put on a uniform, be it coveralls for factory work or freshly pressed whites for naval duties. Women were being cast into a new light, a light that extended way beyond the household and into a world that was previously only accessible to men.
The working world was a vast and uncharted one for housewives, but it opened a window of opportunity to us that we took on full force. Rosie the Riveter wasn’t just a fictional character, she represented the millions of women in our country who rolled up their sleeves and became mechanics, engineers, factory workers, nurses, soldiers, sailors, pilots, marines and countless other invaluable positions that spun traditional gender roles on their ear.
So, let us give thanks to those unsung heroes, those strong resilient women who selflessly sacrificed to ensure the freedom of our great nation. Ladies, I salute you!