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In Recognition Of Mrs. Mary Jezowski-Surge

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

In Recognition Of Mrs. Mary Jezowski-Surge

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
Extensions of Remarks
14 July 2016

HON. DEBBIE DINGELL of Michigan in the House of Representatives
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mrs. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mary Jezowski-Surge, a longtime Michigan resident, and an original Rosie the Riveter. Mary was born on September 1, 1922 and is celebrating her 94th birthday this year. Mary and the original Rosie the Riveters paved the way for women in the workforce, forever changing our nation with their bravery, grace and gusto.

In World War II, enlistment left gaping holes in the labor force, prompting women to join the ranks of male factory workers. These inspiring women were collectively nicknamed ``Rosie the Riveter'' and worked building planes, tanks, and other armaments for soldiers fighting abroad. Mary worked at the Cadillac Plant in Detroit building tanks for American troops. She began her time in the factory as a grinder, eventually becoming a welder. She recalls the thrill that came with climbing up on top of the tanks to do her welding. Mary eventually left the Cadillac Plant to begin work at the Lincoln Plant where she built airplane engines. More than 310,000 women joined the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, comprising a stunning 65 percent of the aviation industry's total workforce. Mary and other women who worked in Michigan's aviation plants were honored for their efforts and have their names engraved on a plaque at Yankee Air Museum in Belleville, Michigan. The contributions of Mary and the original Rosie the Riveters made victory in World War II possible, and their patriotism and hard work will forever remain part of the American story.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me today in honoring Mary for her contributions to the war effort, and for her fearlessness as a trailblazer for women in the workforce. The values that Mary and the Rosies embodied--patriotism, bravery and resolve--are ones we all must strive to emulate. The Rosies are a vitally important part of American history, and their impact on the workforce will never diminish. Their story is one we will continue to share with our children and grandchildren for generations to come, and their spirit and legacy will forever remind us that we all wield the power to positively contribute to our country.

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