Rosie the Riveter Group Wants Funds for National Monument ; Project Aims to Expand WWII Memorial in Washington

By Hricik, Mike | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), December 30, 2014 | Go to article overview

Rosie the Riveter Group Wants Funds for National Monument ; Project Aims to Expand WWII Memorial in Washington


Hricik, Mike, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


Maxine Marshall said she moved to New Jersey at the outset of World War II to find work at a tubing factory, which serviced U.S. military airplanes. She worked with veterans for most of her life after the war, including stints at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a VA hospital in Baltimore.

Marshall, 90, of Charleston, said she sees no glory in her previous work, preferring to honor veterans, like her late husband, who had been a prisoner of war after the Battle of the Bulge.

What was so important that I did? Marshall asked Monday.

To pay tribute to women who worked in WWII-era military- industrial jobs lovingly dubbed Rosies a local group wants to establish a national monument.

Leaders of the West Virginia Rosie the Riveter Project want to raise $7.3 million over the next four years for a variety of programs across the country. Its most ambitious objective is to develop a permanent memorial to Rosies at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The project, created by Charlestonbased Thanks! Plain and Simple Inc., seeks to memorialize and raise awareness of Rosies.

Volunteers have recorded interviews with Rosies for books and documentaries. They have also collected Rosie-created artwork and sponsored opportunities for the public to meet the women.

Marshall herself was persuaded by Thanks! Executive Director Anne Montague, of Cross Lanes, to lend her time.

In an interview Monday, Montague said the monetary goal is very large for a small group like Thanks!, but time is running out.

We do not have the money for that plan, but, some way or another, we have to find it, because America needs it, she said.

Montague said that most Rosies are in their 90s or beyond. She estimated that only 60 to 70 Rosies are still alive in West Virginia.

Some of them have health issues or problems with transportation, limiting their ability to contribute to the national conversation about Rosies, Montague said.

The project seeks private donations and government funds for its four-year plan. Montague said she plans to work with state legislators to accomplish this and to develop the monument.

Other funds would be used to conduct more interviews with Rosies nationwide and establish a more robust corps of volunteers, she said.

Since 2009, the Rosie project has branched out from its beginnings in the Kanawha Valley. …

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