WW2 ‘Rosie the Riveters’ Honored With Congressional Gold Medal

WW2 Rosie the Riveter poster
Image Credit: NBAA

Women who kept America’s aircraft factories humming during World War II, received their long-awaited recognition with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal.

The countless women who served on aircraft manufacturing and production lines are iconically immortalized as “Rosie the Riveters.”

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) presented the award during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on April 10, 2024.

Joining him were Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and former Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), alongside Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

Answering the Call of Duty

Millions of American women stepped up to the plate when war called. With male enlistment depleting the industrial workforce, these women filled factories and shipyards, building the essential equipment needed for victory.

Many “Rosies” played crucial roles in aircraft production, working as welders, mechanics, engineers, and riveters. Their contributions fundamentally reshaped the American industrial landscape.

Rosies Attend Recognition Ceremony

Over two dozen Rosies from across the nation attended the ceremony. Among them was 98-year-old Mae Krier, who proudly accepted the medal on behalf of her fellow “Rosies.”

“This medal honors the millions of American women who answered the call during World War II,” Krier stated.

“We served our country, and in turn, helped save the world.” Krier has dedicated decades to raising awareness about the “Rosies'” wartime contributions and advocating for their official recognition.

At the young age of 17, she joined the war effort by helping build Boeing B-17 and B-29 bombers.

Highest Civilian Honor

The Congressional Gold Medal represents the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States. Fewer than 200 medals have been awarded throughout the nation’s history.

US Speaker Johnson commended these women for their unwavering patriotism and dedication. “They used their talents for the greater good of our nation,” he remarked.

Representatives echoed the sentiment, highlighting the lasting impact of the “Rosies.” “They not only aided in winning the war,” stated Rep. Speier, “but also forever transformed the American workforce and culture.”

Rep. Fitzpatrick added, “These women are trailblazers, heroes, and truly some of the finest Americans our country has ever known.”

Photo Credits: Public domain via Wikipedia Commons

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), a staunch advocate for aviation, expressed their deep appreciation for Congress’ recognition of these women.

The NBAA holds immense respect for the unsung heroes who laid the groundwork for the aviation industry’s rich history.

“This recognition for the ‘Rosies’ is undeniably deserved, even if long overdue,” declared NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “These courageous women were essential to the war effort’s success.”

“We express our profound gratitude to all the women who stepped forward during World War II to support and propel the aviation industry, paving the way for future generations of women to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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