Morgantown, WV - Organized by Thanks! Plain and Simple Inc.(Thanks!) and the Girl Scout’s Black Diamond Council, bells will ring in West Virginia at 1:00 p.m., and around the world to honor Rosie the Riveters on Labor Day.
“Time is running out to recognize and learn from the American women who worked in the factories to support the war effort,” said Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer, who will emcee the event in Morgantown, WV. Deputy Mayor Jenny Selin will share greetings from the City of Morgantown.
Featured speakers at the event will be local Rosie the Riveters Anna Hess, Pauline Everts, Geraldine Boyce and Jean Malone. Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravassos will also be participating. Both Ms. Hess and Chief Caravassos are featured in a video prepared by the City of Morgantown showcasing the City’s commitment to finding Rosie the Riveters and preserving their memories. The video can be accessed at: Rosie
The ceremony will begin at 12:15 at the South High Street station. One of the youngest living Rosies, Anna Hess, turned 90 this month. “I was 15 when my parents moved from Roane County to work in the factories in Akron Ohio,” she said. Ms. Hess worked in a tire factory until the end of the war, moving afterwards with her husband to his hometown, Morgantown, WV, to raise their family.
Simultaneous ceremonies with Girl Scout troops and living Rosie the Riveters will take place at the Clay Center in Charleston and at Glenville City Park in Glenville, as well as in Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, England, and Belgium.
“Ringing bells is a simple, powerful, positive way for people to do something meaningful in unity, just as Rosies did in World War II,” said Anne Montague, founder of Thanks!, a nonprofit orgaization that has worked for a decade to guide people to find and work with living Rosies. “Rosies helped shorten the war, stepping up to do jobs traditionally done by men. Not every Rosie riveted airplanes,” she added, “Rosies also worked on farms, in factories, and in shipbuilding.”
Ms. Hess’ husband was a Morgantown firefighter. She noticed recently that the bell which used to be in front of the Spruce Street station where her husband worked, had been moved to the South High Street station. After she inquired about the bell, Morgantown firefighters enthusiastically joined in the effort to honor the widow of one of their former members. Several of them have relatives who were also Rosie the Riveters.
Girl Scout Troops from Monongalia County will lead the pledge of allegiance and share Girl Scout Cookies. The event is free and open to the public. Off street parking will be available at the Board of Education offices (13 S. High St.) and at the businesses located at 114-122 South High St., thanks to Mr. Steve Lorenze.