The Rosie the Riveter Movement

Creating projects that pull America together


The American Rosie Movement depends on people to do excellent quality work. Over 9 years “Thanks!” has given award to people who have excelled at finding and working with Rosies to make sure that the these women become part of America’s conscious search for ways to honor freedom.

We give awards to people of all kinds, because we believe the American Rosie Movement will not be from the top down, but from the involvement of many people who love America’s principles and strive to show how our freedoms allow us to find new ways to “stand up, together, and do what needs to be done.”

We work with partners of many kinds, such as the US Park Service’s Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Park, the American Rosie the Riveter Association. Each project requires different partners. Watch for a list of Partners soon.

  • Rosies at American Legion Award, 2014. Only two Rosies are now living -Gladys Rees (2nd from left) and Buddie Curnutte (4th from left)

  • Anna-Hess-speaking-at-2017-STEP-Ahead-Award-Ceremony-photo-by-National-Association-of-Manufacturers
  • Anna Hess speaking at 2017 STEP Ahead Award Ceremony - Photo by National Association of Manufacturers

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  • Ceryl Johns with his Mother, Elsie Johns

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  • Nick Withrow receiving First Rosie the Riveter Model Teen award from Katherine Antolini Ph.D, Board member of "Thanks!"- US Department Education - Washington DC

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  • Hugo Keesing, Ph.D. at Embassy of the Netherlands greeting Bertha Glavin, a Rosie from Boston

  • Jay-Linda-at-Otto-party
  • Jay Wertz and Linda Laurie at birthday party for Elinor Otto, a Rosie

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  • American Legion's Kenny Smith, writing letters with Rosie Maxine Marshall (who is no longer able to participate)

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  • Brunswick, MD, Bottom row: Rosies Paula Abelow, Dorothy Davenport, and Crena Anderson. Standing: WJLA tv crew, Arlington, VA

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  • Tim Wilson, helping young couple install Bluebirds for Rosies nest box

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  • Gold Dome Lions Club arranged for Maxine Marshall to speak at Chamberlain School

Awards Given by “Thanks!”:

  • City of Brunswick, MD

  • Brunswick is a small city that has done consistent, high-quality work to honor and understand the meaning of Rosies, help keep the Rosies legacy alive, and work with Rosies to show their capabilities then and now.
      For example, Brunswick has:
    • Crena Anderson, a recently deceased Rosie, being honored at a Veterans Day Parade. Crena riveted the “Flying Boxcar” in Frederick, MD , married a Pearl Harbor Survivor and after he died she married another Pearl Harbor Survivor who eventually died. She then went to the Pearl Harbor Society and asked for another Pearl Harbor survivor who needed hospice care, which she provided until he died.
        Some work “Thanks!” and partners did with Crena are:
      • To take her to the Netherlands in 2015, where she learned about Europe during the war
      • To tell us her story for an animated film (we are looking for funding for that film now)
      • To speak at the WWII Memorial in Washington on August 15, 1014, at the celebration of the end of WWII
      • To help Rosies to be featured in every Veterans Day parade in Brunswick from 2011.
      She died Sept. 7, 2017.
    • The Bluebird for Rosies Project which was headed by Kathy Kremnitzer, Past-President, of the MD Bluebird Society. Kathy worked with Rosies, particularly Ruth Staples, to properly install bluebird nest boxes throughout the city. Bluebirds are the species of bird chosen by Rosies to best represent them, because bluebirds represented hope during the war in many son.. Also bluebirds numbers are low and need people to help them be known, they are good parents, they are a North American bird, and they are red, white and blue.
    • Past Mayor Karen Tome encouraged Rosie awareness, including to help organize events, find Rosies, and she speaks beautifully to the fact that she could not have been mayor had Rosies not paved the way for women.
    • The American Legion in Frederick has consistently helped citizens to know and work with Rosies, ant they have included Rosies yearly in the Veterans Day Parade. Anne Montague, founder of “Thanks!”, is a member of this American Legion Auxiliary, to show her gratitude and offer ideas for Brunswick to continue to be a Model Rosie Community.
    • Tim Wilson has done wonders in Brunswick, and he did so much outside the city that we gave him a separate award (see below).
    • The Pink Dogwood Project, where 8 locations in 4 states planted trees simultaneously with Rosie and Girl Scouts. For this award, we sought a small city that was showing a unified, quality effort to honor and work with Rosies. Brunswick continues to make us proud that less powerful places and people in America have an important role in the American Rosie Movement.
  • Lt. Col. Ceryl Johns:

  • Ceryl is retired from the British Royal Navy as a pilot, now an America citizen, and the son of a British “Rosie”, Elsie Johns who was taken out of school at age 14 to work in a factory in London. His help has been consistent, and at times, dramatic.
      For example, he has:
    • Brought his mother from Wales several times to meet American Rosies ad to help with projects that guide people to work with Rosies. He and Elsie helped to plant the first pink dogwood tree in the first park planned, designed and completed by significant help from Rosies. A year later they came for a parade in So. Charleston, WV and then pick nicked at the park while it was still under construction.
    • Oversaw the bringing of the wing of a Corsair Airplane from South Carolina to Charleston, WV. The plane has a great story, including that it was found in a junk yard in New Zealand, brought to the US to be rebuilt, and is now flying and named “The Rosie the Riveter.” The wing he arranged to have transported to Charleston was signed by a Charleston-area Rosie, Kitty Strickland, who was deceased.
    • Spoke at the event held by “Thanks!” to give the U.K. venue to thank American Rosies on American soil. Held at the Historically Black West Virginia State University, Nov. 2010.D. Helped to unveil the first government building in America that is named, “The Rosie the Riveter Building” which is in Huntington, WV. The next day he spoke at an event where the first permanent wall was unveiled which was designed with Rosies’ help to tell their local history. It was in the Pullman Plaza Hotel, and is soon to be moved to the Cabell County Public Library with the help of several groups.
    • Attended the Embassy of the Netherland’s “Thank you, Rosies” event in Washington on May 2, 2015. Then on July 15 that year, he attended a planning meeting to launch the Rosie the Riveter Movement in Washington, on July 15, 2015.
    • Joined several states in planting a pink dogwood tree in Camden, SC on April 14, 2016, and visited several senior centers to find and learn from Rosies.
    • Arranged for a bell to be rung aboard a ship in London, for the first (pilot) Ring a Bell for Rosies event that was participated in by 50 locations in the US and one each in the Netherlands and the U.K.
    You may request Col John’s speeches by contacting thanksplainandsimple(at)earthlink(dot)net
  • Jay Wertz:

  • Jay is a known WWII scholar and author, who has spent years interviewing WWII vets for books and other periodicals. He has also won coveted awards for documentary films, and works in the film industry in Los Angeles.
      For example, he has:
    • Advised “Thanks!” on its documentary film called, “We Pull Together!”: Rosie the Riveters Then and Now”, which was premiered in 2011 and includes the stories of 31 Rosies who worked nationwide but now live in West Virginia.
    • Advised on the history of World War II, for accuracy and meaning of details of Rosies’s stories, our work with Allied Nations, and partners.
    • Suggested partners to help launch the American Rosie Movement.
    • Advised us on how to find relevant photos and historic information.
  • Gold Dome Lions Club:

  • This Lions Club Chapter showed what small groups can do with Rosies.
      For example, they have:
    • Gone on trips to Maryland to help teach about how to find and interview Rosies.
    • Helped hang the first bluebird nest boxes with Rosies.
    • Adopted two Rosies who needed transportation and other help on a daily basis.
    • Helped get Rosies to events that were inaccessible to them, such as when the Today Show taped Rosies in So. Charleston, when a dinner honoring Rosies was held.
    • Set up speaking engagements for Rosies at local schools, including a Rosie whose husband was a prisoner of war at the Battle of the Bulge.
    • Planted tulips at local schools to teach about the role of Rosies In liberating Europe
    Unfortunately, this chapter of the Lyons Club has closed, due to loss of members to other locations.
  • American Legion, West Virginia:

  • This state-wide Legion has shown what a veteran’s organization can do.
      For example they have:
    • Found veterans and veterans posts that have helped with individual projects including 1) finding the first spot for the first Bluebird nest box, 2) helping with events tike the opening of the first Rosie-planned park, 3) showing the documentary film we produced of 31 Rosies, naming the first bridge and the first building, “The Rosie the Riveter”, many locations that to participate in Ring a Bell for Rosies, nationally. Particularly helpful have been the past Commandant, Kenneth Smith, and the state office’s Executive Secretary, Lois Moles, and Adjutant, Miles Epling.
    • Helped us find WWII veterans, so that our message is clear that Rosies want to give the message, “We pull better when we pull together!” not a message of women versus men.
    • Honored Rosies at their annual event to show unity between veterans of all wars and Rosies.
  • Nick Withrow:

  • Nick started in his junior year of high school to help Thanks! find ways for teens and adults to know and work with Rosie the Riveters.
      For example he has:
    • Accompanied three Rosies to the Netherlands where he learned first-hand about Europe in World War II, and was interviewed by the media afterward about what it meant to him to know the people of an occupied nation.
    • Arranged a day for Rosies at his high school.
    • Visited Rosies in other cities, to understand how to educate with Rosies.
    • Accompanied “Thanks!” to Washington for nationwide Ring a Bell for Rosies event, that was done in DC at the National Cathedral which honored Rosies in their service and the next day in their garden, then met with the liaison between the U.S. Dept of Education and STEM groups.
    The award to Nick was given in front of the US Dept of Education where a very large school bell is on the plaza. He plans to continue working to advance the American Rosie Movement.
  • Hugo Keesing, Ph.D:

  • Hugo was an infant when he and his mother were starving at the end of World War II in Holland. The US, Canada and the United Kingdom dropped food by airplane to the people of the Holland at the end of the war, which saved their lives. He taught American Culture at college lever for years, and with a specialty is music of that era. He has helped us with history, music, and finding other Dutch who help honor and educate with Rosies.
      For example, he has:
    • Significantly helped arrange the event by the Embassy of the Netherlands to honor American Rosies in 2015 and the first trip to the Netherlands for three Rosies which was hosted by the National Liberation Museum, 1044-45.
    • Helped research the origin of the phrase, “Rosie the Riveter” which he feels originated with the song of that name, based on dates other facts.
    • Spoken to several groups, including college students and labor groups.
    • Helped with planting the dogwood tree in Media, PA.
    • Helped with the first national bell ringing which “Thanks!” held at the Netherlands Carillon on the George Washington Parkway in Arlington, VA. , on Labor Day, 2016.
  • Tim Wilson:

  • Tim is the all-purpose volunteer that has helped pull his community and many others together to honor Rosies. He is retired from the post office and shows his love of America’s history and potential by working with Rosies and “Thanks!”.
      For example, he has:
    • Arranged for the City of Brunswick, MD to include Rosies in their Veterans Day parades.
    • Brought Rosies to several events, including to give speeches at the World War II Memorial.
    • Arranged news coverage of Rosie events, shown Anne Montague how to get around Washington (she is disabled and uses public transportation), presented to several members of Congress to take action to advance the American Rosie Movement.
    • Helped Rosies plant a dogwood tree and ring bells in unison with other places in America.
    • Helped find the Nurse who kissed the sailor in the famous photo and introduce her to Rosies.

Awards Given to “Thanks!” and Rosies

  • National Association of Manufacturing to Anna Hess, a Rosie who helped to make military truck tires in Akron, OH. The Step-Ahead Award was to encourage women in manufacturing and STEM. April, 2017.
  • The Mayor of Philadelphia to June Robbins, a Rosie, who drafted ship parts in the Philadelphia Ship Yards. Labor Day, 2017.
  • The Human Rights Commission of West Virginia to several Rosies for breaking boundaries and stigmas of gender and age. Spring 2016.
  • Governor’s Distinguished Citizen Award to Anne Montague. May, 2017.
  • Governor’s Award to 23 Rosies present at Award Ceremony, Charleston, WV, May, 2017
  • Sons of the American Revolution
  • documents/tribute-from-mayor-of-philadelphia.pdf
  • Tribute from Philadelpha's Mayer (PDF)

Awards Planned by “Thanks!”

  • Three Rosie the Riveter Communities by Summer 2017. Now being considered are: A) Philadelphia, B) Camden, SC, and C) Western MD, D) Winchester, KY each of which has done and is planning more work.
  • Marissa and Kindra Fox. Marissa is a Scout Troop Leader who has worked with her troop and other troops to honor Rosies. Kindra is the first person to ring a bell for Rosies, when she was a Browning, in April, 2016.
  • Pamela McCoy. She has worked at several levels to honor Rosies since 2013, including organizing two bell ringing events, helping to plan and install a permanent display of Rosies with art and photos, and is currently finding a place to put the display that has to be moved.
  • Becky Schergens, National Outreach Coordinator for the Women’s History Museum that is being planned in Washington. She has attended many planning sessions for the American Rosie Movement, gotten publications from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, suggested the National Cathedral which went very well, and attended two years of bell ringing in Washington.
  • The People of the Netherlands. This Allied Nation has done exceptional work to honor and educate with Rosies. They have hosted Rosies in Washington and in Groesbeek, Netherlands, started the practice of acting in unison across boundaries, inspired the Ring a Bell for Rosies event, designed a banner that we will keep, helped us get Rosies to meet the King and Queen at Arlington Cemetery, and even sent sympathy cards at the death of a Rosies close family member. We believe this will encourage other Allied Nations to do even more to seize this brief moment to thank American Rosies.

Award Being Considered

  • Thanks! and SMART. To give an award to Community College Students studying technology, in order to attract and retain female students into technical training, as a way to develop a competitive workforce in America.

Launching the International Rosie the Riveter Movement

Submitted by Karan Trasi
Keep watching for more Rosie art

Some ways you can participate are to help with: