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The Eastern Panhandle must be so proud of its Rosie the Riveter home front heroes

By Staff | Nov 27, 2009

Manny P. Arvon, Superintendent

Berkeley County Public Schools

401 S. Queen St.

Martinsburg, WV 25401

Dear Mr. Arvon:

How proud you and your county must be to have had such an excellent showing for American Rosie the Riveters two weeks ago, on Nov. 7 in Shepherdstown. Our organization and many of our supporters could not be more pleased at the performance of the Musselman High School band.

Our organization arranged for Belgium’s people to thank American Rosie the Riveters for their contribution “on the home front” in World War II. We held this event at Shepherd University in a small auditorium so that Lt. Colonel Martine Dierckx, the Belgian representative, and the seven West Virginia women, who represented American Rosies, would have a warm, open atmosphere.

Early in our plans, the Musselman High School Band leader, Mike Knepper, showed clear and intelligent interest in this happening, and we asked his band to perform . Despite a very short time to plan the event, he never wavered in his commitment.

At 2:25 the Rosies were seated and Lt. Colonel Dierckx arrived. At 2:35, the Musselman High School Band began to perform. Immediately, the tone was set for a day that many say was among the post positive experiences of their lives.

I watched the crowd. The preparedness and demeanor of the band was contagious. Tension released all around. Toward the end, as the drum major and others without instruments came up the hill toward the women, there was anticipation of something very special for these very special Rosies. Then a large banner of “Rosie the Riveter” was unfurled which said, “We can do it!”

The Rosies were so proud. Lt. Colonel Dierckx and the crowd felt a common bond in so overtly, genuinely thanking these elderly women, 64 years after World War II. Mike Nepper’s brief words were about his pride in teaching his students the importance of World War II.

We cannot imagine a better introduction to a day that centered the value of freedom and the human spirit. Last week Gloria McCormick, a Rosie, wrote, ” I loved the whole celebration. It was outstanding. I never dreamed I would ever be a part of anything so much a part of ME.”

I am sharing this, in part, to show my thankfulness for a team that understood the value of the day’s message. My compliments for this school’s preparedness and participation. Everyone was proud.

Anne Montague

Executive Director and Founder

Thanks! Plain and Simple