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“Rosies” worked all around the country riveting airplanes, welding ships and doing much more. It was eye-opening for them to do many kinds of work, live and work across America, and pull together with Americans and allies to ”Bring our boys home!”
“Thanks!” takes these women very seriously. The mission of “Thanks!” is to create projects that need to be done in America, to do them so well in West Virginia that the rest of America will want to join in, and to create and maintain a sense of unity in the country. When possible, “Thanks!” includes persons with military training. The Rosie the Riveter Project is an example work that needs to be done in America.
Anne Montague, Executive Director, says, “Our challenge has been to find ways for people to work together. I believe that “Thanks!” is meeting the challenge by creating 15 projects that allow the public and Rosies work together. This mutual cooperation goes a long, long way to increase public awareness and to pass the valid legacy of Rosies to Americans immediately and into the future.
“Yet, I fear that West Virginians have not yet seen that we have a comprehensive plan that makes West Virginia a model for America. I appeal to members of the public to help “Thanks!” to tell other West Virginians that we expect to launch a National Rosie the Riveter Movement from West Virginia on Memorial Day, which is May 26th, the date that Governor Tomblin has designated as West Virginia Rosie the Riveter Day.
“Americans have started to follow us to rally around “Rosies” in the short time left in their lives. I believe that more and more Americans will be inspired by the projects we have created here to be replicated across America. It is most rewarding to see that communities and organizations are becoming model partners with us. When people really work together like this it makes a statement that American can pull together again.
“The question has not been can America pull together. We know Americans can. The question has been will we pull together. Next weeks and months are critical to show that West Virginians will act with pride to show the beauty and abilities of our people.
“When West Virginians clearly show their commitment to “Rosies” and the projects we have created with them, a new self- and public-image of West Virginia will be seen across America. I urge all citizens to learn more about how we can show the deep value of both “Rosies” and West Virginia so that our May 26th launch of the National Rosie the Riveter Movement will succeed for us and all America.”
The portfolio of work that “Thanks!” has done by including these women over five years is most impressive. The list of work completed includes a documentary film (highly reviewed); original Rosie music (highly reviewed); a park completed and one planned; the first state-owned building in America called, “The Rosie the Riveter Building”; the Bluebird for Rosie Project which was launched in Brunswick, MD; protocol and questions to guide people who interview Rosies; poetry; and visits from allied nations who are thanking “Rosies” for the first time; original art about Rosies (some by Rosies). Work underway includes a photographic book that 26 Rosies are contributing to writing; lesson plans for teachers; new music and art; and safety tips from Rosies to children based on what they learned during the war.
Tijah Bumgarner, the lead videographer, says, “I have no doubt that we have the greatest collection of video of living Rosies as they teach about their contributions during the war and now as they strive to get Rosies included in history, now and for future generations. “Thanks!” is truly is on the right track not only for helping the Rosies guide their own legacy, but for how they are examples of how America can pull together, when we really want to. In fact, “Thanks!” is providing both the ideas and the tools for people to cooperate to do what’s right for the nation to do.”
Public Meetings will discuss what has been done, what must be done, and roles the public can take on:
n Jan 27 & 28 (Monday and Tues), 2014. So. Charleston, Marshall University Graduate School, Angus Peyton Drive, Room 319. 4:15-6:15.n Feb. 7 (Friday), 2014. Huntington, Pullman Plaza Hotel, 10th St and 3rd Ave. 3:15-5:00.