Proudest Feminist Monument

Rosie the Riveter Memorial

During World War II, millions of American women worked industrial jobs to help the war effort. At the height of the war, about 27,000 of those women were working at the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, which had been tapped to supply ships to Britain. “Rosie the Riveter” has become the icon used to describe these wartime laborers. The name came from a popular 1942 tune; later came the famous recruitment poster of a woman in work clothes and flexing her muscle while declaring, “We can do it.” Richmond is home to the Rosies’ national memorial. The installation at Marina Bay Park — onetime site of Kaiser shipyard number two — is an interactive piece commemorating the women’s contribution to the victory. It begins with a sculpture designed to evoke the image of a ship’s hull under construction. A walkway, roughly as long as a warship’s keel, with a timeline of important historic events leads to the edge of the water and looks over the Richmond marina. The armrest at the edge reads: “You must tell your children, putting modesty aside, that without us, without women, there would have been no Spring in 1945.”

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