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‘Rosie the Riveter’ to be honored Labor Day

By Staff | Sep 1, 2017

HARPERS FERRY – On Monday, all across America, a commemoration of the “Rosie the Riveters” will be held. The first Rosie was from West Virginia. Four locations in West Virginia, including Harpers Ferry, are holding special ceremonies.

Thanks! Plain and Simple, Inc., a West Virginia-based nonprofit organization, is coordinating this nationwide bell ringing on Labor Day to launch the American Rosie the Riveter Movement.

The Town of Harpers Ferry, in conjunction with the Harpers Ferry Women’s Club, will host “Rosie” Ada England, from Huntington, in a ceremony that will also recognize local women who served their country during the World War II era.

In addition to the Harpers Ferry event, there are four other locations in West Virginia hosting “Rosie” commemorations. They will take place at the state Capitol in Charleston, the Mountain Lakes Amphitheater in Flatwoods and the Pullman Square in Huntington, and at Rowlesburg’s Szilagyi Center for Visual and Performing Arts.

The local event, to be held at the gazebo on Washington Street in Harpers Ferry, begins promptly at 12:30 p.m. and will include remarks from England as well as other special guests.

In addition, Camp Hill and St. James Catholic Church will join in ringing their church bells at precisely 1 p.m. for a 15-second duration. This is in conjunction with bells across America ringing in honor of Rosies across the nation. All other local churches are encouraged to join in the ringing of their church bells at the designated time.

Rosie the Riveter is an icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war, many of whom produced munitions and other war supplies. These women sometimes took replacing the male workers who were enlisted in the Armed Forces.

Nearly 19 million women held jobs during World War II. Many of these women were already working in a lower paying job or were returning to the work force after being laid off during the depression. Only three million new female workers entered the workforce during the time of the war, according to Wikipedia.

Among the locations celebrating Rosies by ringing bells are the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., which will hold a three-hour peal.

Partners in the nationwide celebration include the U.S. Park Service, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Girl Scouts, the American Rosie the Riveter Association and American Legion chapters.

All are invited to attend this local celebration of Rosie the Riveter and welcome England to the Eastern Panhandle. Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served.

Should inclement weather occur, the celebration will be held in the social hall of Camp Hill United Methodist Church in Harpers Ferry. For further information, please contact the Harpers Ferry Town Hall or any member of the Harpers Ferry Woman’s Club.