Afterall, who would not want to be a part of the Guinness Book of World Records ? Well, this is something I could not turn down. Despite the weariness from the Metastatic Breast Cancer that is eating at my bones, I eagerly volunteered to once again help out the Ladies from the Yankee Air Museum and with the assistance of my neighbors / friends; Dana, Brianne, and Sierra, we set up a "sewing shop" at our community clubhouse on Mondays for several weeks. Fabric had been donated and / or purchased to create Rosie Headwear for the upcoming event to be held on March 29, 2014. A prior attempt had been made in October 2013, however only 143 women attended and Guinness had decided that to set the record, a minimum of 250 would need to be present and accounted for. So we cut, ironed, sewed and ironed again... till we saw white polka dots on red Lipstick (the name of the fabric) in our sleep... but we enjoyed ourselves! If the women working in the factories during WWII could endure, so could we! *Special thanks to the Manager of the Van Buren Estates Mobile Home community for allowing us to use the clubhouse, we really needed and appreciated the ability to spread out and mass produce these headwraps
The "costume guidelines" were strict, as to make this a real Guinness Record, we had to be accurate. Thrift shops, uniform shops, and Mens closets were all scoured looking for the Navy blue work clothes, Dark work boots, and trademark Red Socks (found at sporting goods stores) were flying off the shelves, along with bolts of the Lipstick fabric.
The morning of the event, Volunteers arrived at the Willow Run Airport, Hangar 1, dressed and ready to tackle the hundreds of Rosies coming in for the event. While we knew there would be crowds of people, we had no idea just how many there really would be. They came as individuals and in groups; Girl Scouts, Families, Co-workers, and friends. Mothers and daughters, Sisters and cousins, many sporting photos of THEIR personal Rosie - a grandmother or mother, all proud to be a part of this event. They ranged in age from 3 months old - to over 90 years old... and it brought tears to many eyes to be a part of this amazing event.
When it was all said and done; there were SEVEN HUNDRED, SEVENTY EIGHT Rosie the Riveter's on the floor when the count was made. Far more than we needed... (528 more to be precise). We had the daughter of Rose Monroe with us (the original Rosie the Riveter from the Willow Run plant), along with more than a dozen ladies that were ORIGINAL Rosies during the war in the area. The media was having a field day interviewing these wonderful, beautiful ladies. As one Rosie stated, it is a shame that it has taken this many years to show our gratitude toward these ladies. Had it not been for them during the war, the planes would not have been built nor would many of them been able to be flown to our "boys overseas" as they were the only ones left on the home front to do this job. And that they did. My bandanna is off to you ladies all today, and everyday. For it was you... the "Rosie the Riveter's" that showed the world that Women CAN DO IT, and you paved the way for us women of today to be able to do equal work for equal pay, in ANY industry.
As Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan had declared this day Rosie the Riveter Day in Michigan ..."March 29, 2014: Rosie the Riveter Day WHEREAS, Rosie the Riveter is an icon representing the can do attitude of women as they joined the work force during World War II and helped the United States and its allies win the war; and
WHEREAS, these women helped build the B-24 Liberator bombers at the Willow Run Bomber Plant, home to the original Rosie, Rose Will Monroe; and
WHEREAS, these women traveled from their homes to do whatever job was needed in order to assist the war effort, including riveting, welding, flying planes, keeping victory gardens, recycling materials needed for the war effort, all while continuing to care for their families at home; and
WHEREAS, the legacy of the women of the Greatest Generation is recognized as critical to preserve and future generations will benefit greatly from the lessons that can be learned from these fine dedicated women;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim March 29, 2014 as Rosie the Riveter Day in Michigan."
As I type this, I am still overwhelmed with emotion that filled me during the singing of the National Anthem, God Bless America, Amazing Grace and just being among such powerful women of many races and all ages... all bonded together in sisterhood - as one. God Bless you all and on behalf of TLC Gardens & Crafts - THANK YOU "Rosies" for your service to the United States of America. My father was in the Army at that time, and I believe that had it not been for the work YOU LADIES performed, I may not be here today... as HE may not have survived without your efforts and been able to come home to marry my mother... For me personally, I feel empowered by these women. Today, though I am sore and tired from being on my feet so long, I KNOW I can continue to SURVIVE - despite my diagnosis... as Rosie would say "I CAN DO IT" It will be back to work on my sewing machine to fill orders for doll clothes tomorrow, scans on Tuesday and more sewing on Wednesday...
The following photo gallery are photos taken by my husband, MIKE CRANSON on the day of the event. He too was very proud to be able to participate in this historical moment. Together, we are honored to share with YOU our experience. We also ask that you join us in supporting the YANKEE AIR MUSEUM by making a donation of any size... you can visit their campaign at http://savethebomberplant.org/.
Enjoy the photos. We welcome your comments and replies, and would LOVE to hear from some of those that were in attendance on this Momentous occasion! More photos may be added down the road, as I have invited others to submit their photos as well. If you have photos you'd like to add to this, please contact me on how you may submit them.
Teri aka TLC Rosie ;)