There is so much inspiration inside this door. It is one of a few at the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park. Rosie the Riveter, of course, takes center stage inside.This National Historical Park, after all, is about Rosie, the women who were the workforce that carried the country when their menfolk were fighting in the war abroad. The one thing that touched me the most, however, the activity that had tears running down my cheeks, was the Park Ranger Program, Of Lost Conversations, presented by the National Park Service’s oldest Park Ranger, Betty Reid Soskin, who spoke about her experiences as a young African American woman during WWII. She also related her family’s experiences in a changing and growing nation starting with her great grandmother who was born a slave in Louisiana, to her mother whose work choice was limited by segregation, to Betty’s getting a job as a clerk which was pioneering for African American women. She spoke of the strides achieved for equality, and responding to the challenges of keeping what have been achieved in place.Betty’s 95 years of experience shows in her words. She knows what it was like when people were separated based on color and gender. She values the changes that the sacrifices of Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks have brought, and is contributing through her work to keep the changes alive.
I didn’t have any expectations visiting the National Historical Park with the longest name; but I came out of its door inspired.