DETROIT – “This generation has to remember what we did,” said Ellen Kushnir, Riveter Desoto Chrysler.
Eight Rosie the Riveters now in their 90s and triple digits were honored for their role in winning World War II.
“I was a riveter and that was my little plane, the Navy Hell Divers this was the plane that won the war in the Pacific,” said Kushnir.
A cultural icon of World War II Rosie the Riveter represented the women who worked in factories and shipyards.
“We built B24s one an hour,” said one woman.
Another of the woman added, “I worked in the tool crib in the big presses.”
During World War II women stepped up to fill positions that were traditionally occupied by men working heavy machinery and taking roles in lumber and steel mills.
“We recognize the fact that we were put to work to bring our men home they are coming home in boxes, husbands, sons brothers and I think that was the main thing about the Rosies working in the plants that they wanted to bring their men home,” said Emma Timmermann, Riveter Stinson aircraft.
These brave women paved the way for future generations.
“They were the women power in the factories and made the airplanes that made the supplies that helped us protect our freedoms but they also made a beginning for a women like they made it possible for a woman like me,” said Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell.
The annual Ring a Bell for Rosie is held on Labor Day honoring the sacrifices and determination of the greatest generation.
“It’s the history and learning for some people, some people don’t know nothing about it,” said Clara Douply, Riveter Bridge Manufacturing.
Jeannette Gutierrez of American Rosie the Riveter Association added, “Can’t celebrate Labor Day any better than to celebrate these women whose labor was essential to the victory of World War II.”