GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Local women who went to work during the 1940s while men were sent overseas to fight World War II were remembered and honored Tuesday in Grandville with a memorial rose garden.
These women, nicknamed “Rosie the Riveter” fought battles on the home front, stepping up where they could to support the war effort.
Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony and permanent garden at Wedgwood Park is part of a larger, nationwide movement to preserve the stories of those who stepped up during that time.
A representative from the American Rosie the Riveter Association and Grandville High School grad, Angie Timan-Morthland says small town displays are often more impactful than those anywhere else.
“People forget that these small towns, like Grandville are what sullied the driving force of working people to fill the factories and fields,” Tilman-Morthland said. “People are going to see this here and say, oh my gosh, they remembered!
“We need to preserve their legacy and encourage that strength in everyday Americans today. I encourage everyone I come across to stay involved with your elders and try your best to let them know we haven’t forgotten their sacrifice. They are the reason we aren’t speaking Japanese or German in this country today.”
For how you can get involved or share your story, contact the association.
A representative from Rep. Bill Huizenga’s office was also present at the ceremony. He said a Congressional Gold Medal is currently in committee that will also honor Rosie the Riveters across the country.
If approved, it will be permanently displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in the U.S. capital.