|Not Too Late to Opine on Rosie
December 04, 2004
Even though four public workshops on the General Master Plan for the future of the Rosie the Riveter World war II/Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond were completed last week, it is still not too late to weigh in with your opinions on what the park will eventually look like and how it will function.
The National Park Service has outlined several visions of how the Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front National Historical Park will look, feel and function and is asking the public for opinions and suggestions. The newsletter describing the option has been mailed to over 10,000 households and can also be found on the Internet at http://www.nps.gov/pwro/rori_news3/oct2004_news3.htm.
For information or to express opinions on the future of the park, contact:
Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park
1401 Marina Way South
Richmond, California 94804
web site: http://www.nps.gov/
An article from the December 3 West County Times follows:
MARTIN SNAPP: SNAPP
WANT TO HELP make history? The National Park Service, which runs the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, is planning the next stage in the park's development.
And they're doing something very smart: Instead of handing down the decision from up high, as you might expect, they're seeking the opinions of the people who actually live here -- namely, us.
Four very different visions are being considered.
Vision A would keep the park pretty much the way it is today: a modest exhibit in the lobby of the new Richmond City Hall, plus the Rosie the Riveter Memorial sculpture; the Liberty ship Red Oak Victory; and a self-guided driving tour past the places where FDR's "arsenal of democracy" was forged, including the Ford assembly plant, which turned out 49,000 Jeeps and thousands more half-tracks, armored cars and tanks.
Vision B reflects a growing trend in museums called "heritage tourism." It would celebrate the whole city of Richmond as a historical site.
"For instance, two of the first places people saw when they arrived here to work in the shipyards -- the bus station and the housing office -- are now restaurants," says park superintendent Judy Hart. "Wouldn't it be great if they had pictures on the wall -- or on the placemats -- showing what the place looked like during World War II? Or if they included Spam and ketchup on the breakfast menu?"
Vision C focuses on the Ford Assembly plant, turning it into an educational institute that would be the definitive source of America's World War II homefront history. The institute would feature exhibits, oral histories, research programs and a library of documents and artifacts.
Vision D focuses on the shipyards, featuring nighttime canoe tours of Shipyard No. 3, boat-building classes, water taxis shuttling back and forth to the Ford plant, boat tours of historic sites, kayak and canoe rentals, ferry boats to San Francisco and a cruise ship permanently moored as a floating hotel.
These are just starting points. The final plan will probably combine some of the best elements from each alternative.
And that's where we come in. Over the next 20 years, this park is going to evolve into the definitive memorial to the women -- and men, too -- who built the guns, tanks, ships and planes that saved the world from Hitler.
But what kind of memorial will that be? It's up to us. To find out more about each vision, log on to www.nps.gov/rori. Or call 510-232-5050, fax 510-232-5504, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or write Rosie the Riveter, 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond, CA 94804.
Then tell them what you think. They want to know not only what you like, but also what you don't like. And if you have an idea that hasn't been included in any of the plans, they want to know that, too.
It's the least we can do for these heroic -- there's no other word for it -- women.
They took their job deadly seriously. "Over and over, I've heard variations of, 'I had to make every rivet perfect, because this might be the ship that would bring my Joey home to me,'" says Hart.
But they also had the time of their lives.
"It was fun!" said Mary Jane Inserra of San Pablo, who built battleships. Her job was to punch holes on a pattern in huge sheets of steel, to show the "burners" (people with acetylene torches who were following right behind her) where to cut.
"We used to have races to see who could punch holes the fastest," she said.
And she laughed when I called her a hero. "Me? I was just an 18-year-old kid. Sure, I worked hard, but I'm no hero."
You are to us, Mary Jane.