American is asking, “Do we have a message from the past that can be applied to today, for the future””
Now that I have interviewed about 200 Rosies and helped communities create about 20 Rosie projects that honor Rosies in America and other nations, I see that the answer is, “Yes, if people understand and follow the powerful meaning of the Rosie Legacy™.”
What is the Rosie Legacy™? We at “Thanks!” believe it is:
To pull together in order to do highest-quality work for freedom,
and to work together in a cooperative spirit.
Rosies did just this during WWII. Rosies, themselves, say that what is most important to them is that people pulled together across many differences during World War II. They did not blame. They unified and their work was high-quality because it had to be done, and it had to be done well.
Further, these fascinating women, who are now 92 or older, have lived through the century that has seen more change than any other century in the history of the human family. They teach us the fuller story of: the great depression, World War II, teaching their children that women “Can do it!”, and caring for veterans wounded in body and spirit. Today, they are senior seniors, and just by showing America who they are, they make a case for the value of knowing and including seniors, especially since people live about 25 years longer than when Rosies were born.
Today, after 13 years’ work with highly diverse Rosies, people, places and projects, I believe that America faces the following problems that keep us from pulling together. I am also giving you examples of how the American Rosie Movement™ is helping us face these problems:
- People want to pull together but they don’t see something that that they can do that clearly needs to be done. Rosies give people a reason to unify across our differences, they are inspired by these women, and they want to find and honor Rosies.
- People want to know what they can do and to add their own ideas on how to leave a lasting record of Rosies and the Rosie Legacy™. People are replicating our 20 projects and creating their own in many places (e.g., performing original music about Rosies, naming bridges and buildings, “The Rosie the Riveter”). See AmericanRosieMovement.org for many completed projects.
- People want to be guided so that they can do projects that help make American Rosie Movement™ strong, visible and positive. “Thanks!” and its partners provide guidance, but we need the public’s help to increase guidance as projects increase.
- People want to be part of something that: a) is bigger and meaningful, and b) connects them to smaller groups that do something that should be done. The American Rosie Movement is about people who meet these needs by working in small groups.
Rosies’ history teaches us we can pull together. Other history helps us now. David Price, author of The Power of Us beautifully summarizes some of Thomas Paine’s key thoughts in Common Sense. First, our strength is not in numbers alone, but in unity. Second, the cause of America is the cause of mankind (I prefer to say, the human family). Third, the time has found us.
The time is calling to Americans to unite to face multiple threats. Rosies-and we who understand their true legacy-are a surprise solution because we don’t attack with armaments and muscle, we unify, we see America’s cause as the world’s cause, and we see that we must answer the call of this time.
Nancy Sipple, a Rosies who inspected airplane engine parts in Cincinnati during the war, said just before she died in April, 2012,
“We pulled together then. We can do it again. It’s our only hope!”
– Anne Montague