By unitedweroll on Mar 8, 2012 | In Military News and Support
March 8, 2012: Commentary: Honoring our founding mothers
An outstanding review by Lt Col Jenise Carroll of how March became Women's History Month and some of the amazing women who made American history. Did you know Victoria Woodhull ran for the U.S. presidency against Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 and her running mate was famous black author Frederick Douglass?
Release No: 052
March 8, 2012
Honoring our founding mothers
by Lt. Col. Jenise Carroll
Total Force Service Center-San Antonio Operations Division Chief
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – March is dedicated to women’s history, and this month’s theme focuses on women’s education and empowerment. Our nation’s dedication to celebrating women’s history started in 1980 when former U.S. President Jimmy Carter designated the first week of March as Women’s History Week. Then, seven years later, Congress passed a resolution that dedicated the entire month of March to honor the achievements of American women.
Women have been an integral part of history before they had the right to vote! Until recently, women’s history was overlooked and undervalued. The achievements of women were often distorted, disdained and denied. There are over 208,271 women proudly serving their nation throughout the Department of Defense in some capacity and we owe it all to our “founding mothers” for paving the way.
Women like Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross have made a resounding impact on our nation. She made the first American flag and is known as one of the most famous people who lived through the American Revolution. It is because of Betsy Ross that every American, young and old, stand tall as they honor our nation’s flag while reciting the Pledge of Alliance or watch those stars and stripes wave in the wind while listening to the Star Spangled Banner.
Victoria Woodhull was another powerful woman who was ahead of her time and ran for the U.S. presidency against Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. She did all this before women were allowed to vote and her running mate was famous black author Frederick Douglass. In addition to her being the first woman to run for president, she was also a businesswoman, stockbroker, publisher and advocate for women’s suffrage, civil rights and one of the first women to speak in front of Congress.
Amelia Earhart and Eileen Collins both had a passion for aviation. Earhart was the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross. Collins was selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, to join the astronaut corps in 1990 and completed her initial training one year later. In 1999, Collins became the first female commander and pilot of a space shuttle.
Ann Dunwoody became the first female four-star general in the United States military in 2008. Her promotion has been described as breaking “the brass ceiling” of the armed forces – a truly historical moment.
Each of the women highlighted above made their place in history breaking down the preverbal glass ceiling and knocking down barriers. Today, women are serving in the combat zone alongside their male colleagues. The number of women serving in the combat zone has increased since 2003 and several have decided to share their stories in a featured book called the Band of Sisters, which similar to the Band of Brothers story told many years ago following World War II.
These influential women have been integral to the fabric of women’s education and empowerment. As we celebrate and honor the courage and determination of all women who have made a difference and those who are making a difference, I challenge each of you do your part in educating and empowering the next generation of women.
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