NATICK, Mass. (Aug. 29, 2013) – Every day at 6:30 a.m. sharp, Soldiers stationed at Natick Soldier Systems Center raise the American flag over the installation during a ceremony called reveille. On Aug. 28, however, as the sun rose something special happened, making this daily routine memorable.
“An all-female flag honors team raised the installation flag during reveille,” said Spc. Marissa Spitz, a biological research assistant with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, who took part in the detail. “I am excited to be a part of this to give tribute to female warfighters who served before me and have paved the way for me to be where I am today.”
Spitz said the seven female Soldiers were there to commemorate Natick Soldier Systems Center’s Women’s Equality Day, and to celebrate the privilege of serving their country.
Women’s Equality Day, celebrated nationally Aug. 26, observes the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. This year marked its 93rd anniversary.
In a presidential proclamation, President Obama noted that after decades of organizing, agitating and demonstrating, this country achieved a major victory for women’s rights and American democracy. The 19th Amendment was certified, extending the vote to women and advancing our nation’s long journey toward full equality for all Americans.
The ratification of the 19th Amendment paved the way for more women to participate in American politics — as leaders, candidates, voters and volunteers.
Natick Soldier Systems Center planned other events to mark the day, including a speech about the women’s rights movement and various Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation events. For Soldiers like Spitz, it is important to honor such historic events to appreciate the benefits from them that are felt by many today.
“It’s important to look back into our nation’s great history of women who have given tremendous amounts of time and effort to pave the way for equal opportunity now,” said Spitz, “especially in the military.”