Rome’s Rosie’s weren’t forgotten on Labor Day as a small crowd came out to the Rome Area History Center to recognize and celebrate a group of real life Rosie the Riveters.
Bettianne Harris, Mary McJunkin and Barbara Esler came out to the Rosie the Riveter garden behind the history center for the rededication ceremony and the annual bell ringing.
The ringing of the bells is done every Labor Day to recognize the end of World War II, which happened on Sept. 2, 1945. Rosie the Riveter chapters from all across America gather together and ring the bells at 1 p.m.
“It’s an honor for the Rosies to share this day because Rosies are very important in helping America win World War II,” Harris said. “We took jobs that were for men who had to go to the front line.”
Harris herself began working and volunteering with the Red Cross when she was 12 years old, rolling bandages for the troops overseas.
The Rosie Garden was originally outside the Museum of Flight at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport, but was moved to the history center at the request of the club.
Director Selena Tilly is working on a new Rosie the Riveter exhibit at the history center. When visitors stop by, Tilly and staff can direct them outside to the garden and talk about just how important the Rosies were.
“Our Rosies are exceptional people,” said the Rev. William S. Davies during the rededication. “Today we mark the creation of this rose garden to remind us and our community of those who helped during World War II. These Rosies worked hard at home and in far away places, to do work women had never done before and make our nation safe.”
At the end of the ceremony, Esler led the small crowd in a rendition of the hymn “God Bless America.”
Of the 27 local women who have been inducted into Rome’s Rosie the Riveter chapter, nine are still active.