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Elinor with Girl Scout at Glenn Martin Aviation Museum in Baltimore, receiving key to the City of Morris Plains, NJ, with legendary TV and film writer & producer Norman Lear in Beverly Hills, dedicating Rosie Rose Garden at March Field Air Museum in Riverside, CA, with Boeing EVP Leanne Caret in Washington, D.C. 
 
Elinor's Great Adventure
 
America's Longest Working Rosie the Riveter goes on whirlwind tour to help raise public awareness about Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Gardens 
 
 
  
This spring, Spirit of '45 national spokeswoman Elinor Otto toured the East Coast and Southern California to promote public awareness and participation in her campaign to honor the women who made history on the Home Front during WWII.
 
On Memorial Day weekend, our intrepid 98-year old flew solo on American Airlines from her home in Long Beach, CA to Washington, D.C. where she began a two-week whirlwind itinerary that ended with a visit to the March Field Air Museum in Riverside, CA on June 9.
        
During her tour, Elinor asked for donations to help support the ongoing campaign, with the goal of raising $45K by the end of the current year.
 
Make Elinor's Vision a Reality!Click here to make a tax deductible donation to help Elinor achieve her goal of a creating a national living memorial to the Rosies! 
 
       
 Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Gardens Official Registry plaque.  "I'm with her!" campaign buttons with photo of Elinor when she was a 24-year old Rosie during WWII.   Spirit of '45 Service patch earned by individuals that participate in the national Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Gardens campaign.
 
Highlights included:
  • Speaking at Memorial Day wreath laying ceremonies at the Air Force Memorial organized by the Girl Scouts
  • Representing America's Rosies in the National Memorial Day Parade as part of the annual Spirit of '45 March of Heroes (Washington, D.C.) 
  • Visiting offices of elected officials who are supporting the Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act  
  • Meeting Boeing Company women executives (Arlington, VA)
  • Joining fellow Rosies and Girl Scouts at the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum (Baltimore, MD)
  • Visiting Morris Plains elementary school students and community leaders who planted the first Rosie Rose Garden in New Jersey, (Morris Plains, NJ)
  • Speaking at the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame (Teterboro, NJ)
  • Meeting Girl Scouts at the Rosie the Riveter Memorial (Woodridge, NJ)
  • Helping Girl Scouts dedicate New York's first Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Garden at the East Coast WWII Memorial in Battery Park
  • Meeting with Norman Lear to thank him for his continuing support for Spirit of '45 (Beverly Hill, CA)
  • Speaking at the dedication ceremonies for the Rosie the Riveter Garden at March Field Air Museum (Riverside, CA)
SPECIAL THANKSElinor was accompanied on her travels by Spirit of '45 National Supervisor Warren Hegg. Special thanks to our friends at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Courtyard Marriott Arlington Rosslyn, Hanover Marriott, New York Marriott Marquis, and Hilton Grand Central Hotel for providing them with complimentary lodging during their East Coast tour.
 
 
 
Air Force Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony  
 
Elinor and fellow Rosie Ada Wynn Parker from Oregon attended a special Memorial Day program at the Air Force Memorial  The ceremony was organized by Ms. Madeleine LeBeau, a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient from Chantilly, VA, who has taken the leadership for Spirit of '45 events and activities in Washington, D.C. and Virginia.
  
 
 
 

Spirit of '45 youth leaders have attended every Memorial Day program held at the Air Force Memorial since it was dedicated in 2006, and have organized special programs at the Memorial, including 75th anniversary commemorations of the activation of the Tuskegee Airmen on March 22, 2016, and the  Doolittle Raid 75th Anniversary Commemoration on April 18 2017.  
 
When Madeleine learned that there was no Memorial Day program planned this year, she quickly created one.  

CEREMONY AGENDA

 

With the help of Sharla Rausch of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Madeleine invited Brigadier General Lyn D. Sherlock (USAF retired) to be the key note speaker. 
 
Madeleine rallied her fellow Girl Scouts to pay tribute to the 38 women who lost their lives servicing in the WASPs during WWII whose photos were presented during the ceremony and carried in this year's Spirit of '45 Memorial Day March of Heroes.
 
 
 
 
  
    
Girl Scouts and DAR members with WASP KIA photo posters.  Michigan students with banner of Tuskegee Airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice defending freedom and democracy during WWII.

 
 
National Memorial Day Parade - Spirit of '45 "March of Heroes"
 
Elinor and fellow Rosies led off this year's Spirit of '45 Memorial Day March of Heroes in the nation's largest Memorial Day Parade.   
 
This year's entry included three vintage automobiles carrying Rosies, a float with WWII veterans and our fabled "Times Square Kiss" re-enactors (Theresa Werner and James Martin), and hundreds of youth volunteers who marched with photo posters of Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII.
 
Thanks to U-Haul InternationalU-Haul International sponsored the Spirit of '45 Day float in the National Memorial Day Parade again this year.  Founded by a WWII Navy veteran in 1945, U-Haul has helped to support Stories of Service and Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive for more than a decade.   
 
For more photos, click here
 
 
  
 
Appreciation to our friends at Murphy Funeral Home 
Special thanks again to Andy Linthicum and Murphy Funeral Home of Arlington, VA- a Dignity Memorial provider - for donating the wreaths that were placed at the Air Force Memorial and the National WWII Memorial. Andy has also made a donation to support the national expansion of the national network of Rosie Rose Gardens.
 
 
Boeing Company Visit
 
Elinor was hosted by women executives of the Boeing Company, and shared her experience working as a for the company for nearly 50 of her 68-year career as a riveter.  
 
 
Leanne was named by Fortune in 2017 as one of America's most powerful women and an outstanding role model to inspire young girls and women to become "21st Century Rosies" by pursuing careers in today's high technology driven workforce and becoming leaders of major corporations.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum visit
 
Elinor visited with fellow Rosies at the Museum that honors the legacy of the aviation legend who was the first to hire women to build aircraft (Martin's first company employee was his mother!), that is helping to lead the "Find Our Rosies" campaign.
 
Following her remarks, Elinor met with young Riley, a local Girl Scout who pledged to help create a statewide network of Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Gardens in Maryland during the coming months. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Morris Plains Borough Student Rally
 
Elinor received a warm welcome when she visited Borough School in Morris Plains, NJ, where she received a key to the City from the major and city council.  
 
Third grade teacher Ginny Hussey and her students met with her to thank her for her inspring work, as Elinor expressed her appreciation for their having planted the first Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Garden in New Jersey earlier in the month.  
 
The students also paid tribute to 6 Morris Plains servicemen who were KIA during WWII and whose photos were carried in their local and the national Memorial Day parades.
 
 
   
   
 
 
New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame visit
 
Elinor spent the afternoon of May 31st with staff and volunteers of the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey.
 
She was met by students from Lexington, NJ who made the finals in National History Day with their project about the challenges and success of women in the workplace during WWII that based in part on Elinor's career as a Rosie.
 
Also in attendance were members of the Ninety Nines, an international association of licensed women pilots from 44 nations.
 
A highlight of her visit was the presentation of a Home Front Victory Medal by President Ralph Villecca.
 
    
 
 
 
Rosie the Riveter Memorial, Wood-Ridge, NJ 
 
Despite inclement weather, Girl Scout troops came out to meet Elinor at the Rosie the Riveter Memorial that stands in front of the former Curtiss-Wright airplane factory in Wood-Ridge, NJ where thousands of Rosies worked during WWII.  They were joined by Councilwoman Catherine Cassidy and AFA representative Howard Leach.
 
The Rosie the Riveter Memorial was created by artist John Giannotti for the Somerset Development Corporation which has rennovated the factory, and is one of only three memorials to the women who made history on the Home Front during WWII.
 
The Scouts will be planting Gardens in their area during the coming months and pledged to make their community a model for the rest of New Jersey. 
 
 
 
 
 
Rosie Garden dedication in New York City's Battery Park
 
 
Elinor capped her East Coast week of "whistle stops" by joining Girl Scouts who dedicated New York's first Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Garden at the WWII Memorial in Battery Park.  
 
The program was organized by Battery Park City Girl Scout Troop #3302 Leader Linda Lecomte and attended by dozens of New York Girl Scouts, and included special guests, including Warrie Price, President and Founder of The Battery ConservancyTerri Ruyter and Alexis Querques, Principal of The Battery Park City School PS/IS 276, 
and a local Rosie who worked as a welder during WWII.
 
Elinor spoke briefly to the group before helping lay a wreath in honor of the men who died in the defense of America during WWII whose names are engraved on the large oblisks of the Memorial, which looks out on the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. 
 
The event highlighted the theme of "Rosies Roses = STEMS" with a presentastion and information table encouraging Girl Scouts to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Service to their community.
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
Visit with Norman Lear
 
On her return to California, Elinor paid a visit to legendary TV and film writer and producer Norman Lear at his Beverly Hills office.
 
Norman flew 53 missions in a B17 that was built by Rosies. He received a poster photo of himself that is carried in the New York City Veterans Day Parade each year by young women dressed as Rosies. 
 
Norman has been a strong supporter of Spirit of '45 and was invited to help Elinor achive her vision of a national network of rose gardens that will stand as a living memorial to the women who made history on the Home Front during WWII.
 
 
  
 
 
March Field Air Museum dedication ceremony
 
Elinor concluded her whistlestop tour with a visit to the March Field Air Museum in Riverside, CA, to dedicate its Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Garden that has been planted in the museum's outdoor Heritage Courtyard.
 
Spirit of '45 transported accalimed artist Seward Johnson's sculpture of the icon "Rosie Pose" to the Museum for the June 9th ceremony, where it will remain through the summer.
 
The event was organized by the museum director Paul Hammond, and featured remarks by Elinor, Spirit of '45 National Supervisor Warren Hegg and Tyler Worley, representing the Air Force Association and its the Arnold Air Society/Silver Wings collegiate service organization.  Paul led a Q&A session with Elinor after the ceremony.
 
 
 
  
 Museum Director Paul Hammond with Rosie re-enactor, Elinor, and Tyler Worley, representing the Air Force Association and the Arnold Air Society/Silver Wings
     
   
 
 
 Two weeks of nonstop public appearances, speeches and photo ops.
"I guess that's why they call them our "Greatest Generation!"
 
 
 Elinor finally takes a rest!