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From the birth of our nation, women have played an integral role in history. We can all think of a woman who has influenced the course of the United States. Think of Dolley Madison, who saved the painting of George Washington from fire, or Clara Barton, founder of what is now the American Red Cross. The suffragists who fought for the right to vote also come to mind as well as Rosa Parks who took a stand for civil rights, Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice on the United States Supreme Court, and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. All of these women and many more have paved the way for the women who are active in every aspect of our society today.
Women’s History Month honors the contributions of women of character, courage, and commitment to the history and culture of the United States. This special recognition originated with a resolution passed by Congress in 1981 designating the week of March 7, 1982, as Women’s History Week. Since 1987, this national celebration has been observed annually during the entire month of March.
During my travels around the Sixth District, I have had the distinct opportunity to meet many inspiring women. Whether they are a CEO, a teacher, an elected official, a doctor, a stay-at-home mom, a soldier, or a coach, their hard work deserves recognition. From small business owners who have built success to women working long hours to support their families, women have made significant strides in a variety of occupations and careers. I know that without the contributions of these women, our economy and communities in the Sixth District and throughout the nation would falter.
Many of us can also identify women who have played an important role in shaping our lives. I am thankful to have had strong women like my mother, wife, and daughter in my life. My mother worked hard to raise my four sisters and me. She also ignited my love of history. I am inspired on a daily basis by my wife of nearly 40 years, Maryellen, who raised our two children while pursuing a successful career as an attorney. I am also blessed to have a wonderful daughter, Jen. I am extremely proud of her accomplishments and know that she will continue to grow in her success.
While there is one month set aside to highlight the achievements of American women, it is important that we remember the countless contributions of women to the foundation of this nation and modern America each day. It is these achievements that will continue pushing generations of women forward, encouraging them to write their own place in history.