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Bay Area woman, other ‘Rosie the Riveters' to be honored for their work during World War II

There is new honor for the “Rosie the Riveters.” The women who kept America’s factories and shipyards running strong during World War II are about to get one of the nation’s highest honors.

Bay Area resident Jeanne Gibson will be among the 30 Rosies who will travel to Washington D.C. next month to collectively accept a Congressional Gold Medal, an honor many say is long overdue.

“It was kind of the thing to do it needed doing. They needed people to do the welding to make the ships,” she said.

Gibson, 98, described what drove her to leave her home in Minnesota at age 18 and take a welding job in Seattle during World War II.

“Everyone was chipping in and doing what they could,” she said.

Gibson is one of 20 million women known as a Rosie the Riveter, women who entered the workforce during World War II when the nation’s men went off to war.

“They came and took on jobs at normally were not available to women. They worked long, hard, tiring days. Some welders, some building ships and planes,” said Tammy Brumley. “I think the fact that we honor what they did, and we appreciate what they did.”

Gibson was recently recognized at the Warriors game, a little warm up for what’s to come.

“That was just fabulous and I’m really honored. It was an early part of my life and life went on,” she said.

Gibson went on to get her PhD, teach school, become writer and a licensed pilot and she credits much of to her days as a Rosie.

“It was an experience that kind of gelled everything. I’ve always been kind of independent, but it made me what I am today, I guess,” Gibson said.

At 98, Gibson is sharing her story with younger generations at the Rosie the Riveter museum in Richmond, hoping to inspire them.


Source: NBC Bay Area

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