Ford Celebrates ‘Rosie the Riveters’ with Honor Flight to D.C.

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Ford Motor Company Fund recently flew 30 original Rosie the Riveters to Washington, D.C. to celebrate their contributions to the war effort. The Rosies, ages 88-98, visited the World War II Memorial and attended a special luncheon in their honor at the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill!

These women were traditional housewives, mothers and daughters in the 1940s when suddenly everything changed. Millions of men left home to fight in World War II, creating a critical shortage of available workers. The country needed immediate help to produce the machines of war. These women came to the rescue!

They became known as Rosie the Riveters. In addition to their work on assembly lines, they had a lasting impact on the country, changing perceptions and expanding opportunities for future women in the workforce.

Ford and its Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, were a major force in the Arsenal of Democracy. The plant’s mile-long assembly line produced nearly 9,000 B-24 Liberators – one every hour. At peak production, Willow Run employed 42,000 workers, up to one-third of them were women industrial workers.

“These women not only helped win a war, they paved the way for future generations to achieve economic and personal independence,” said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “It is an honor to celebrate their vital contributions to our country and the cause of freedom.”

The Rosie the Riveter Honor Flight is part of Ford’s ongoing support for women and military veterans. Ford’s support for veterans and their families dates back more than 90 years through its relationship with DAV, formerly the Disabled American Veterans, and the DAV Transportation Network.

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