ROSIES OF WWII HONORED AT NAVY YARD
“The legacy of Rosies is to pull together, do first-quality work, do it cooperatively and do it for a higher cause, which is freedom.”
– Ann Montague, founder of the American Rosie Movement
The National Parks Service celebrated the role of women workers at the Charlestown Navy Yard during World War II with a ceremony and special exhibit this past Labor Day holiday. During that war over 8,000 women worked in the Boston Naval Shipyard, both here in Charlestown and at the Annex over in South Boston next to the then Boston Army Base. These women did it all replacing the guys who went off to war in the Pacific or Europe. One of my uncles, Joseph Patrick Harrington enlisted right after Pearl Harbor and his sister, my mom went to work at the Navy. One Harrington replacing another Harrington gone to war. This past Labor Day everyone paused inside the Navy Yard to remember all those Rosie the Riveters who worked hard to win that war in many different capacities.
My mom told me about what she did at the Navy Yard but never made a big deal out of it. She never thought it was a big deal, it was something that had to be done. However, all these women were heroic. They did their duty for their country. They were patriotic and never expected anything in return but an end to that war. Many of these Rosies are gone now, few remain and it is only right they get anewed recognition for their service whatever it was to their country.
My mom actually laughed about it in her later years when I asked her if she helped build ships. She said she was working in the kitchen preparing the meals for the riveters. She never thought her work was that important, but I reminded her that someone had to help feed them but she still had a grin on her face.
I went to the Navy Yard on Labor Day to remember all those women who played an important role on the homefront during that war. My mother never ever made a big deal out of it. It was just something she had to do.