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Rosie the Riveters to 75th D-Day

$30,570 of $33,500 goal

Raised by 189 people in 9 months


6/14/19 UPDATE: The Rosies have returned from their trip!!! Please read the 2 updates attached! #2 shows up first so please start with #1. 

Update on the progress of the Rosies trip to Normandy:
(While I estimated on the higher end of some of the budget items, funds are still appreciated as Trip Insurance  was not initially added to the original estimate).

Thank you so much to all of the donors to make this pipe dream a reality for the Rosies! The outpouring of support has humbled the Rosies while at the same time has filled their hearts to know that people care about them and what they've done for our country. Marian W. will be able to visit her brother's grave in a few short days and the Rosies' calender is overflowing with events, parades, and visits with WW2 Vets while in Normandy.
Unfortunately Rosie Kay is unable to join us on the trip due to Dr's orders. As some of you know, Kay's presence fills the room and we will miss not having her with us. Kay was able to make a 4 day trip to D.C. this past week, not as long as the France trip, but she came home very tired and she knew her Dr. had made the right call.

Donors may contact me if they wish to be invited to two Rosie Facebook pages, one I created and one that Celine created in France. We hope to add pictures and video to them as the trip progresses but most of them may have to be uploaded upon our return.
Tune in to MSNBC's The Andrea Mitchell Report 9am Pacific on either June 5th OR June 6th (Presidents' press conference might preempt them on the 6th, so they would be moved to the 5th).
The Rosies are honored to, once again, stand behind "the boys" they supported all those years ago.



UPDATE:  4-06-2019
With gratitude to our dear friend Celine Rouhalde and to the many people of France, Belgium, and the U.K. who answered her call, they have raised over $7,300.00 to help bring the Rosies to Normandy!  Their donations have helped push us closer to our goal. We have been able to purchase airfare and accommodations in Normandy as well as cars for ground transportation.  We still have a bit of way to reach our total goal but we are very, very close!  Please help the Rosies reach their goal,  by donating and sharing their campaign!  


                                                “All the day long whether rain or shine

                                                        She’s a part of the assembly line

                                             She’s making history, working for victory

                                                                      Rosie the Riveter”

“Rosie The Riveter” Words and Music by Redd Evans & John Jacob Loeb Published 1942


Six "Rosie the Riveters" would like to attend the 75th D-Day Commemorations taking place in Normandy, France in June 2019.  The 75th Commemorations will be a big one and most likely will be one of the last hurrahs as these Veterans are all in their 90’s+.   As with most elderly, these Rosies are on a limited budget so our hope is to raise funds as soon as possible to achieve this goal and to lock in travel dates.


With the large number of men heading off to join the military during World War II, women were encouraged to step up and fill the jobs left behind and it included a new industry – Military Production.


The women who came forward to work for the War Effort on the Home Front  became many things including Welders, Draftsmen, Electricians, Munitions Factory workers, Outfitters of tanks and jeeps, and of course, Riveters. These women became collectively known as “Rosie the Riveters.” Not only did their contributions to the war effort help bring “their boys” back home, but their time on the job front planted the seeds of the women and civil rights movement.

 
Having the Rosies attend this event will help to round out the story of America's role during WW2; joining our Veterans, who fought valiantly against the Axis, with the women who produced the military might. The Rosies have met with visitors from France and Belgium who are forever grateful that the Allies helped in the war. (It is a little overwhelming for the Rosies as their modesty leaves them to think their role was minor, but we know that the military needed supplies and their contributions made the difference). There will be many opportunities to participate in parades and gatherings, meeting the people of Normandy.


One of these Rosies not only contributed to the war effort but also lost someone at D-Day.  Marian Wynn’s brother, U.S. Army Private First Class Donald F. Parsons, died while serving his country in July 1944 and is buried on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach at the Normandy-American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. This would be the first time anyone within Marian’s family has been able to visit her brother’s grave.

It is my honor to work with these wonderful women— these Rosies, now all in their 90s, who continue to volunteer their time and share their stories to local school groups, libraries, and other community events. Their wish is to ensure their contributions of working for the War Effort on the Home Front are forever woven into the fabric of our country's history, never to be forgotten.


 
The six Rosies on this trip are:

Agnes Moore, 99, Journeyman Welder Kaiser Shipyard #3, Richmond, CA

Phyllis Gould, 97, Journeyman Welder, Kaiser Shipyard #2, Richmond, CA

Marian Sousa, 93, Draftsman, Kaiser Shipyard #3, Richmond, CA

Mae Krier, 93, Riveter, Boeing, Seattle, WA

Marian Wynn, 92, Pipe Welder, Kaiser Shipyard #3, Richmond, CA

 

 
We are raising funds for:

• Airfare for 5 Rosies and 3 helpers (all will fly from SFO Bay Area while one will fly out from PA)

• Accommodations

• The use of two vans or mini-bus and related incidentals during their stay

• Meals throughout their stay

(* Goal listed is based on price research.)

Any amount is greatly appreciated! 

GFM does take out 2.9% + .30 cents of each donation for credit card transaction fees (& you can elect to tip GFM for the service they provide with any or no amount if you donate).  


The trip idea was the brainchild of Celine Rouhalde, of France, who made a special appointment to meet these Rosies while on a visit to San Francisco in 2017. Celine’s Grandfather was a French Resistance fighter who took her with him to many of his FR reunions as she grew up; this is where she came to appreciate the contributions of the Allies who fought together for liberty and freedom and against tyranny. When she learned about the roles of the Rosies during WW2 she was excited to visit them during a trip to the Bay Area. She has echoed a sentiment the Rosies and Veterans hear often, “Without you I would either not exist or be speaking German.  Celine and her husband Wilfried restore WW2 Military vehicles and drive them in parades throughout France, having participated many times in D-Day Commemorations. In addition, Celine participates in a group of women from France, England and Belgium that dress up as "Rosies" for WW2 commemorations, further educating the roles of Rosies beyond our shores.  

Any remaining funds will be used for incidentals during the trip and remaining funds will be donated to the American Rosie the Riveter Association (A.R.R.A.) and the Rosie the Riveter Trust.

 A little bit about me:  I have had the honor of working with these wonderful Rosies since 2012 as their Organizer; coordinating their speaking events and providing for their transportation all over the San Francisco Bay Area. I organized and accompanied the Rosies to the White House in March 2014 where they were honored, on behalf of all Rosies, by V.P. Joe Biden and President Obama. I also organized and accompanied the Rosies to the 75th Commemoration of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in December 2016.

I am organizing this trip for the Rosies and will be one of the helpers on this trip. I am researching the best flights, hotel accommodations, transportation, etc., and I will be handling the donations and will be purchasing, as funds allow, the best deals we come across. 

The Rosies thank you for your consideration of their Wish! 

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Return: Update 2
The next day, June 6th, would begin early for us, waking up at 4 am. We were to be guests at the Normandy-American Cemetery ceremony where Presidents Macron and Trump would be attending. The whole area surrounding the cemetery would be closed to traffic so we had to drive to one of 3 locations where all invited guests would then be bused in. Our town was Sainte Lo, the site of where MarianW’s brother had died. The day was cold so we bundled up, and boarded our bus, that was then escorted in to the area by a motorcycle policeman with lights on. The night before I had received a call from Trump’s speechwriter that MarianW would be seated on stage with the other Vets! (She’d already given them permission for Trump to mention her story in his speech). I couldn’t tell her as I knew she’d be so nervous she couldn’t sleep so we didn’t tell her till they came to the Distinguished Guests tent to take her to the stage along with the Vets. It was very moving to see all the Vets up on stage, to see MarianW amongst them, for her part as a Rosie and to represent her brother who gave the ultimate sacrifice. She received a Thank You and a kiss on the cheek from President Macron and we also got to hear the stories and see Macron award 5 American Veterans the French Legion of Honor medal. (Did I mention how emotional this trip was?). While MarianW was onstage getting a kiss from the President, the other Rosies were seated next to Nancy Pelosi and other Politician’s who made the trip out to Normandy: Jackie Spears, Susan Collins, Rick Perry among others. We ended the day with one more visit to MarianW’s brother’s grave. We headed back to the parking lot to catch a shuttle around 4pm. There wasn’t one so we waited and in the meantime visitors came up to the Rosies to say hello, thank them and to listen. There was a high school group from Texas that busied the Rosies and before we knew it, it was 5:30 and still no bus. We inquired of the people in charge & they couldn’t give us an answer, they were as perplexed as we were. Somehow, the shuttle to Sainte Lo never came back. And all the roads were shut down so not just anybody could drive in, no Uber, no taxis, nothing. It got colder and the ABMC’s Dan Hicks brought the Rosies chairs to sit in as well as whatever he could find to offer them (cookies & candies) while he desperately worked his phone to get a shuttle for the Rosies and a total of about 20 people who were also stranded. With no end in sight, he brought everyone into the Museum building where we would be warm and had the place to ourselves. This ragtag bus brigade bonded during this shared incident; Tomas from NYC, and his cousin & family from Paris, NYC librarian Jill, two brothers, two soldiers, stationed in Germany and a few others. We didn’t get a bus till 8:30pm, arrived in Saint Lo where we ran for the McDonald’s and got home around 11:45 pm, falling asleep close to 1am when all was said and done. (Remember, our day started at 4am!)
Needless to say, the Rosies, although happy from their day’s experience, were wiped out the next day and needed to rest, unfortunately missing a ceremony at Pointe du Hoc.
But they were rested by late afternoon to meet with Wallis and the Belgium‘s club BMVT. Wallis is who introduced “Rosies” to Celine and she and her group raised nearly $1500.00 by selling pens to help bring the Rosies to Normandy!
On Sat, June 8th , Celine and France MVCG invited the Rosies to dine with WW2 Vets in the seaside town of Grand camp Maisy, where they were all given the Town Medal by the Mayor and to ride in a jeep in the MVCG’s parade from Grand camp Maisy to the town of Isigny (Greg rode in a Sherman Tank!). Upon their arrival in Isigny, they were helped up to a stage where they watched the rest of the parade roll through.
Sun morning brought the Rosies back to Omaha Beach for a ceremony for all the women who helped during the war, whether it was Nurses, WACS, Waves, or Rosies. The people gathered for the ceremony each took a flower and we all walked that huge expanse, highly aware of the boys who ran for their lives on this very same beach, exposed and so vulnerable to the enemy, to toss our flowers into the sea.

On our return trip to our rental to rest before another parade in Sainte Mere Eglise we saw Paratroopers jumping from planes near the town, commemorating the Paratroopers who landed ahead of the Invasion. But there was no place to pull over to watch it, the streets and highway were jam packed with cars. But at least we saw a few and that mattered to us. Unfortunately, with the huge crowds already in place, there were so many people in the little town that the police and Mayor decided to cancel the parade. Which was really sad as that was the last hurrah the Rosies were looking forward to. But Celine and her wonderful group had the Rosies over for dinner and it was a wonderful way to end the Rosies last night in Normandy, with Celine and Camp Geronimo.

Our last nights before our flight home were spent in the Latin Quarter of Paris, a block away from Notre Dame and the neatest little cobblestoned side streets filled with many shops and restaurants in some of the coolest architecture that looked like they were part of movie sets.

Along the way, the Rosies, and the Vets were treated like Rock Stars, like Royalty, from the moment they boarded the plane over till the time they got home, SO MANY people came up to them to shake their hands, to have their pictures taken with them, to hear their stories and maybe even relate their own Rosie family member story to them. And it was that connection, to the visitors, to the people of France, to the Veterans that made this trip so worth it. A trip of a lifetime.
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Return: Update 1 The Rosies have returned from Normandy and are very grateful to all of you who contributed to send them there!!!! So many experiences, full of emotions, that the Rosies were able to be a part of. Trying to find the words to describe to you what this experience was like is hard, words do NOT do it justice.
Have you ever been? All Americans should go - the love and appreciation of the Normandy people is an experience we all should know and hold in our hearts. The reverence they hold for returning Vets makes you cry. (& for the Rosies now too!). And the remembrances taught to school children is what keeps their sacrifice alive. They will never forget and neither should we.
There are events and re-enactors allover the place, dressed as soldiers, nurses, civilians, all driving military vehicles, period cars and flying planes, that really help you feel like you are in Normandy in 1944.

MANY, MANY SPECIAL thanks to Céline because if you didn’t ask the Rosies if they would like to come to Normandy, this would not have happened. It seemed an impossibility that we couldn’t even fathom. And of course for the help in raising funds and giving the Rosies AMAZING experiences*.

Our trip started with a rest in Paris after a 10 1/2 hour flight and to adjust to a total flip-flop of our time zone.
We were able to do a bus tour to hit the major sights of Paris and found a favorite Café to frequent. ️

On June 3rd, we drove two vans to Normandy to meet with NBC National News at the Normandy-American Cemetery where MarianW was finally able to visit her brother’s grave. ️ She was escorted by her Rosie sisters, Céline Rouhald, who promised her this visit, and Stéphanie Hamel Le Bris, interpretive guide at the cemetery and also the granddaughter of the original owners of the land the Cemetery now sits on who were there when the landings happened.
That night the Rosies were waited on hand and foot by Celine and her group Camp Geronimo, MVCG Bretagne (Brittany) stationed in the town of Saint Mere Eglise. You couldn’t find a nicer group of people. The Rosies wouldn’t have minded staying, even if it meant a cot to sleep in, but they had a very nice home awaiting them in Jogansville, a restored Mill from the 17th century, replete with a babbling brook, songbirds, cows and a white horse. It would prove to be the perfect place for the Rosies to relax in during their busy, emotional week.
The next day the Rosies attended a special luncheon at the Chateau de Bernaville courtesy of the Normandy Institute in Picauville with WW2 Allied Veterans. (Thank you David Smeigh of the ABMC for putting us in touch with Dorothea!).

Wed., June 5th was the day we went to Utah and Omaha beaches to pay our respect to all of the Soldiers who came upon these shores. To be there, to see the expanse, especially at Omaha, blows your mind with the open ‘field’ they had to run for their lives through. We timed the visits to arrive at the Normandy-American Cemetery so that 3 of the Rosies (MarianW, MarianS and Mae) could be interviewed by Andrea Mitchell, capping off a storyline that had begun a month earlier in Richmond, CA. (Video on MSNBC’s website).
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Update on the progress of the Rosies trip to Normandy:
(While I estimated on the higher end of some of the budget items, funds are still appreciated as Trip Insurance of $4,700.00 was not initially added to the original estimate).

Thank you so much to all of the donors to make this pipe dream a reality for the Rosies! The outpouring of support has humbled the Rosies while at the same time has filled their hearts to know that people care about them and what they've done for our country. Marian W. will be able to visit her brother's grave in a few short days and the Rosies' calender is overflowing with events, parades, and visits with WW2 Vets while in Normandy.
Unfortunately Rosie Kay is unable to join us on the trip due to Dr's orders. As some of you know, Kay's presence fills the room and we will miss not having her with us. Kay was able to make a 4 day trip to D.C. this past week, not as long as the France trip, but she came home very tired and she knew her Dr. had made the right call.

Donors may contact me if they wish to be invited to two Rosie Facebook pages, one I created and one that Celine created in France. We hope to add pictures and video to them as the trip progresses but most of them may have to be uploaded upon our return.
Tune in to MSNBC's The Andrea Mitchell Report 9am Pacific on either June 5th OR June 6th (Presidents' press conference might preempt them on the 6th, so they would be moved to the 5th).
The Rosies are honored to, once again, stand behind "the boys" they supported all those years ago.
+ Read More
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$30,570 of $33,500 goal

Raised by 189 people in 9 months
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