Councilwoman Schipske Invites Community to Celebrate Enhancements to Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center

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rosie-the-riveter Councilwoman Gerrie SchipskeLong Beach City Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske invites the community to attend an opening ceremony celebrating the completion of numerous enhancements to the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center, which honors the thousands of women who worked at the Douglas Aircraft plant during World War II.

The free ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 10 am, at the corners of Clark Avenue and Conant Street, in Long Beach, just steps from the former site of the Douglas Aircraft plant. More than 20 “Rosie the Riveters” and their families will participate.

Coordinated with the Wreaths Across America project, the local event will include the laying of seven wreaths wreath (with flags of the six military branches and a flag for POW/MIA) at the newly completed military memorial and compass rose section of the Long Beach park. Wreaths Across America will feature more than 450 participating locations across the country, including Arlington National Cemetery.

“I am so proud that we are dedicating the numerous enhancements made to the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center. Several people and organizations have contributed their time, talent and treasure to making this park the first of its kind in Long Beach and the second of its kind in the United States. The park and the military memorial are fitting tributes to the history of Long Beach and the role its women and men played during World War II,” Councilwoman Shipske said. “I am particularly pleased to announce that the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center will coordinate with the Wreaths Across America project in laying Christmas wreaths in honor of the men and women who gave their lives during military service. We will do this during our dedication and make it an annual event for Long Beach.”

Councilwoman Schipske represents the 5th District, which includes the Rosie the Riveter Park area. She also serves as President of the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to raise funds to enhance the park.

The enhancements include:

A rose-colored walking path with an etched timeline that chronicles the history of Long Beach, Douglas Aircraft Company and the women who worked at the plant, and colorful tile replicas of recruitment posters targeting Rosie the Riveters;

Interpretive signs attached to 1940’s era light poles with the following themes: Our Arsenal of Democracy, Long Beach 1941, Rosie the Riveter Comes to Long Beach, Doing a Man Sized Job, Bicycles, Airplanes and the War, the War at Home, Women Airforce Service Pilots, Working the Swing Shift, Our Compass Rose and Memorial and Going Home;

A replica of a “compass rose” that once decorated the lobby of the Roosevelt Naval Base in Long Beach. The compass rose has historically been used by pilots and navigators to locate their position;

A quiet garden and memorial to the women and men who served in the military; and

A “flight path” lit with solar powered flashing lights that follows several planes – that were assembled at the Douglas Aircraft plant – etched in the pavers.

These enhancements were funded by The Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation (which received generous donations and/or grants from: Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage Association; Operating Engineers; BP; Ironworkers; The Kemp Group; Port of Long Beach; Southern California Edison; Verizon; Long Beach Firefighters Association; Yellow Cab Company; Keesal, Young & Logan; HCVT, LLP; Blake Christian, CPA; and Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske). Additional support was provided by the County of Los Angeles through Supervisor Don Knabe; Partners of Parks (which received generous donations from Wal-Mart for use in the 5th Council District); and the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine.

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