By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Jun. 12, Mill Pond Manor in Saline, managed by Retirement Housing Foundation and co- sponsored by EHM Senior Solutions, held a dedication ceremony for two of their own as they dedicated a Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Garden at the front of the complex.
Marjorie Haskins and Marian Youngs are both residents of Mill Pond Manor and both were original “Rosie’s.” Rosie the Riveter became symbolic of all of the women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II.
“We are very fortunate to have two original Rosie the Riveters right here in our midst, we are really happy about that,” said facility manager Belinda Booker in opening the ceremony. “
Claire Dahl, a tribute Rosie and one of a few tribute and original Rosie’s on hand at the dedication ceremony, gave a history of the Rosie’s stepping up to the plate when needed for the war effort.
Then, Dahl introduced Haskins and Youngs. Dahl met them at a program she hosted in the past for the Riveters in Ann Arbor.
Haskins, 96, began working at Willow Run in 1942 when she was 18 years old, carpooling with six others from Carleton MI. She worked in the crib of the press shop, acting as a librarian in the plant keeping track of various aspects of a large plant like Willow Run. After the war, Haskins and her husband bought a hardware store where she continued to work.
“Marjorie kept everything organized, the molds, the tools, the blueprints. She was doing her part to win this war,” said Dahl.
Youngs, 94, hails from Saline and Coldwater, began working at Willow Run at age 18 as well. With her strength and coordination, her job was to put sheet metal into a press. After the war, she worked in a plant that made tools for Sears before opening up her own antique business in Saline.
“Marian said it was good pay, it was her patriotic duty, and she worked in the noisy press shop,” said Dahl. “She told me she never lost a finger! She was spunky, she even went to Canada to see if they would let her be a pilot because she was too young to be one in the US, and when she went across the border they said, ‘nope still too young.’ But she gave it a try.”
After the introductions, Nancy Zajac, President of the Willow Run Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Associations, explained the Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Gardens.
With gardens located across the country, a Rosie the Riveter Rose was created. A living memorial to ensure the contributions of the women who worked on the home front during World War II. Rosie the Riveter Roses, or the Floribunda Rose, produces an abundance of double flowers that have orange gold petals with a tinge of pink.
The flowers will bloom multiple times during the season. Unfortunately, the rose bushes were budded out when received two weeks ago, but with the recent rain many were lost. A sign was also planted in the new garden that will go on the national registry of Rosie the Riveter Memorial Garden. This will ensure anyone that looks can find its location.
The sign, with a Rosie the Riveter pictured on it, states “These roses honor the legacy of the women who made history on our home front during WWII. They are part of a national living memorial to inspire a new generation of 21 st century Rosie’s.
In Michigan, the chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association (ARRA), planted one hundred rose bushes all over the state which is the largest amount that has been planted in thecountry.