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Honoring Contributions of Women, Symbolized by 'Rosie the Riveter' Who Served On The Homefront During World War II

Location: Washington, DC



Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Con. Res. 413. Today, we are honoring these millions of women who, although they have never been to a battlefield, they really served valiantly during some of our Nation's darkest hours. I think we have all heard stories from our moms and relatives and from individuals who really rolled up their sleeves and got to work to be of service to our Nation. Of course, there are women from all walks of life, all ages, and they really heeded the call of this Nation in shipyards, dockyards, steel mills, lumber mills, wherever they were needed. They worked in defense industries and support services to power the American productivity that helped win World War II.
The sight of women outfitted in overalls and wielding industrial tools was popularized in the 1942 song "Rosie the Riveter." The image and the song created an instantly recognizable nickname for those homefront heroes. Today, that nickname and that image is still recognized and loved.

Mr. Speaker, these women demonstrated skill and dedication in difficult and often very dangerous jobs, but their work produced urgently needed military equipment at record-breaking speeds. They were efficient, and they defined many of the standards we hold today. The legacy of these Rosies is still seen across America. Their service on the homefront marked the start of an unprecedented entry of women into the workplace and created a lasting legacy of women leaders for us to look up to.

[Time: 14:15]

One such Rosie now lives on a 70-acre farm in my district in Tennessee. Lois Turner worked as a mechanic at Bell Aircraft in Niagara Falls, New York, from 1943 to 1945. She had many roles at Bell. She worked in machine gun manufacturing; and with her delicate hands, she was able to do much of the safety wiring in parts of our warplanes that most others could not reach. She spent 15 minutes at a time held upside down to reach those tight spots. Lois' skill and care helped keep our soldiers safe.

Mr. Speaker, the Rosies of World War II put heart and soul into their work because their work meant the safety and security of their loved ones on the battle front.

As many Members will recall, in 2000 Congress recognized the significance of America's World War II industrial achievements and the legacy of the women who helped make those achievements possible by establishing the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. It is a unit of the National Park System. As we did then, we pause again today to remember the women who have given so much to their country.
Their love of country, their hard work, their prayers for our soldiers were in the steel and plate of every American battleship. They were then, and remain today, deep in the soul of our war effort and a great victory for freedom and peace.

We should all thank our colleague, the gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Capito), for her leadership in honoring these women and for sponsoring this resolution, so that America will never forget these wonderful patriots.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Capito), the sponsor of this legislation.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller).


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 ½ minutes to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert).


Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me time.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I want to again thank the gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Capito) for her work on this legislation and for bringing forth the opportunity that we could all take a few minutes and say thank you to the women that we know, the Rosies, who have been here and who have worked.

I think that one of the things that they have done is that they set forth for us, as we have heard from so many of our speakers today, more or less a role model for how they lived patriotism, how they worked each and every day, and how they displayed that love of freedom. As some of our colleagues have talked, it was through victory gardens, it was through keeping other children, it was through enabling the women who could head into the factories and head into the workplace to be there and to do a great job. And, of course, they did change the face of the workplace.

But I think that, probably more than that, one of the things that they accomplished and did a tremendous job in accomplishing was giving us a peace dividend. That is something that their children and their grandchildren have enjoyed and continue to enjoy today, and it is because of the extraordinary effort of so many of the Rosie the Riveters. What a pleasure it is today for us to join together and to thank each and every one of them for those efforts.


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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