Reflections on Women's History Month

  • Published
  • By Mary Kay Francis
  • 653rd Electronic Systems Wing
March is National Women's History Month. A press release from the National Women's History Project said, "To honor the originality, beauty, imagination, and multiple dimensions of women's lives, the national theme for this year is Women's Art: Women's Vision."
The Hanscom National Women's History Committee is expanding upon that theme for Hanscom's observance of National Women's History Month to specifically include women in government service. The theme for Hanscom's NWH events is, Women's Art, Women's Vision: Celebrating the Courage and Vision of Women in Government Service. 

The history of women in the arts, sciences, or government is often the story of women's accomplishments that were celebrated at the time, but written out of history. This year's theme provides an opportunity to celebrate women's visual arts in a variety of forms and mediums that help expand our perceptions of ourselves and each other, and reflect on the history of women who have served and are serving in government service. 

At first, I was in a quandary about how the national theme relates to Hanscom women and how to tell their story. Then, in one of those rare moments of calm and quiet in my cubical, the answer was all around me. It was in the pictures Linda LaBonte-Britt has taken, from when I was a staff sergeant in white mess dress -- yes that long ago -- to a picture taken last year at the Chief's Recognition Ceremony. She has captured my history -- as well as the histories of many others -- at Hanscom.

My cubicle also contains posters and banners from Carol Bernard and Debbie Benson, who assisted greatly with last year's celebrations and who continue to share their artistic talents through the brochures and booklets for the Electronic Systems Center's sponsors conferences, Voluntary Protection Program posters and congratulatory banners.

There are many other women on Hanscom who also document our history by using their artistic gifts. Denise Beaudry, Marika Trantanella and Gail Tremblay painstakingly create retirement, promotion and awards programs, often at a moment's notice, and Doris Richards' meticulous public affairs reviews keep us all out of trouble.

Also, I'm inspired by the contributions and sacrifices being made daily by our deployed women warriors from Hanscom. Their contributions and sacrifices are an inspiration to us all.

The list includes many more women, but how many of us really look at those "products" and think about the time, dedication and effort these women put into serving ESC and 66th Air Base Wing -- let alone the originality of their art and vision? Their efforts are making our history known.

The long standing motto of National Women's History, "Our History is our Strength," is played out everyday here in our community, our town of Hanscom. Now, just imagine our future!