The American Rosie MOVEMENT
The American Rosie MOVEMENT
Please realize that we have had huge cooperation from others over the twelve years that we have worked to make the Rosie legacy part of America's self-and-world identity. Now, in 2020, we give special recognition to five collaborators who have done exceptional work with us over several years.
After we invited Belgium and the UK to thank American Rosies, and each country did a memorable job, we, with the help of Dr. Hugo Keesing, were invited to bring Rosies to two special events by the people of the Netherlands. The first was an exceptional event at their Embassy in Washington, on May 2, 2015. The second was to honor three Rosies at the National Liberation Museum, 1044-45 in Nijmegen. Those Rosies who attended either event were changed by these experiences – the hard work they did for freedom was recognized by people they never expected to know.
Upon returning from the Netherlands, we opened our emails to find an invitation to bring four Rosies to meet the royal couple of the Netherlands, on June 2, 2020 at Arlington Cemetery. At the tomb of the unknown soldier, Rosies were present to see the laying of a wreath. That moment was even more meaningful because the Rosies realized that they, too, had been largely unknown until recently.
Then in a private meeting, Rosies and World War II veterans met King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, who were clearly touched. When Queen Maxima came to Anne, our “fearless leader”, Anne started to define the goal of the Rosie Movement, and Queen Maxima said with great compassion, “But Anne, there is so little time!” Anne cried. Two women who feel their responsibility expressed their common concern for caring.
The Embassy then invited “Thanks!” to the premier of a film made by Maarten Vossen, about his struggle to find an American paratrooper who died near Nijmegen. Anna Hess was the guest Rosie.
In 2017, The National Liberation Museum invited three Rosies to Nijmegen. The way the Dutch people and Rosies connected was profound for history, though it has not been made as well-known as it will be.
Now, in 2020, the Netherlands Embassy is planning an event to celebrate Ring a Bell for Rosies and the placing of a plaque at the dogwood tree they planted on the grounds of their Embassy in 2015. This event will be announced on Labor Day.
People may question why “Thanks!” chose a foreign nation to be named as a founding collaborator of the American Rosie Movement. Our answer is that the Rosie Legacy is about doing quality work in a cooperative spirit, so that freedom lives on. This is important far beyond socio-political boundaries. For the Rosie Legacy to become part of America’s self- and world-identity, we welcome other nations to help, and we are proud that many nations will Ring a Bell for Rosies in early September (Labor Day in the U.S) this year.
We are searching for established writers to help us make known the Netherland’s participation and to help with the launching of the American Rosie Movement.
The Rosie Legacy is about pulling together to do quality work for freedom. This includes work of many kinds and to produce many kinds of projects as the Rosies did during World War II.
We have long been interested in hands-on training as part of the American Rosie Movement. (Our president is a retired principal of a Technical Training High School). In 2016, we asked the NAM if they would want a Rosie to speak to them or any of their manufacturers. Instead of a small event, they invited Rosie Anna Hess, who made truck tires in Akron, Ohio, to be a major speaker at the annual Step-Ahead award ceremony which was held at the Reagan Center in Washington. Anna received standing ovations as she talked in her down-to-earth way to a crowd of approximately 700 people in manufacturing including over 100 women who received awards for outstanding work. That few minutes was representative of giving a voice to millions of women who had been ignored or under-respected for their decades of work and how they pulled together. The photo of Anna Hess on our homepage was taken that night.
In 2020, the National Manufacturing Institute, and affiliate of NAM, video taped numerous Rosies; a short film will be released this fall. Their inclusion of diverse Rosies is very helpful to us as we strive to include Rosies who represent many kinds of Americans.
Jay is an example of a historian with many communication skills that help to tell the Rosie Legacy with the accuracy and depth it requires. He has completed more than 700 interviews of World War II veterans, edited films for Paramount Pictures for many years, and has won prizes for the documentary films he has made including an award from the Smithsonian Institution.
Jay first helped us in 2009, when he advised us on the documentary film, “We Pull Together: Rosie the Riveters Then and Now.” Since then, he has continued to donate in-kind services, met with a Rosie who is a Board Member and her mayor in PA, assured that bells were rung in Los Angeles for several years, found Rosies for us to interview and work with, and included various groups in our efforts.
Jay’s first-hand knowledge of veterans across America makes our work fuller and more meaningful since most Rosies feel that their job was to save the men’s lives and many Rosies nurtured men who were injured in body and spirit. Thus, he helps us tell the fuller story of protecting of the unified effort to preserve freedom then, and how that unity is needed now.
Richard (“Joey”) Wiseman, who was the head of social studies in West Virginia education, has helped with Rosie education consistently and efficiently since 2011.
Our first work with him was to show our documentary film, “Rosie the Riveters
Then and Now” to social studies teachers in a summer workshop.
We love it when as often said, “It’s all about the kids!” He has sent photos of people working with Rosies at schools, helped guide us with lesson plans, encouraged schools to have Rosies speak in classes and more, over the last nine years.
He is now Director of Middle-School Education and attended an event on the US Capitol Grounds in 2019 where we promoted the Ring A Bell for Rosies event at the Taft Carillon before the international ringing of bells on Labor Day.
He understands that we are working far beyond West Virginia to get people involved with Rosies while we can and to further the Rosie Legacy into the future. He is an educator who is liked by other educators as a skilled and sincere teacher who realized that history is important to the future.
In 2015, we first met this non-denominational organization in Philadelphia to discuss creating a small garden at their site that is in the Philadelphia Ship Yards.
Soon after, they held an event where Rosies were honored and one of our allies, Cass Forkin, was given an award for her work with Rosies.
In 2019, Bill Kaemmer, Director, attended the event at the US Capitol grounds where selected persons learned more about the Rosie Legacy. This event helped us prepare for the 2019 Ring A Bell for Rosies and the American Rosie Movement.
In the spring of 2020, they honored Rosie June Robbins who worked in the Philadelphia Ship Yards drafting ship parts. June, who is a professional entertainer at 94 years old, sealed their commitment to the Rosie Movement.
The Chapel of the Four Chaplains is inclusive and they focus on pulling together. Today, Bill and others are using their world-wide contacts to help with the Ring a Bell for Rosies event to show unity across different kinds of people.