Faith Alexander, left, Gracelia Vazquez, Raegan Thompson, Lauren Lee and Janea Johnson sing and dance along to Agents of Change. The lyrics highlighted women's history: "Look to the past; women helped lead the way / Making our nations what it is today." Entertainment for the luncheon also included a duet by Diane Chatfield and PFC Brandon Sparks of the Fort Benning Love Dental Clinic, who sang Can't Give Up Now by Mary Mary.

FORT BENNING, Ga. - The theme for the 2010 Women's History Month Luncheon was "Writing Women Back into History." The annual celebration - held March 18 and attended by more than 200 Soldiers and civilians - showcased the accomplishments of women whose efforts are often omitted from history books.

Though often unrecognized, women have always been a part of history, said LTC Mary Martin, 30th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) commander, who introduced the guest speaker.

"Writing them back in is just to go back and revisit our significance in the history we've already served in and (recognize) what we're still doing today," she said.

Teresa Tomlinson, executive director for MidTown, Inc. and keynote speaker, shared some of the history of women's struggles with prejudice.

In the past, women who voiced their opinions too loudly or acted too boldly were sometimes considered mentally ill or possessed, Tomlinson said.

"In old Europe and even in the early days of this country, it was not unusual that when a woman would step outside of social norms, she could be imprisoned, declared a witch, even burned at the stake," she said.

It's important to remember and celebrate the efforts of women, so they are not forgotten, Tomlinson said.

"This is a good thing," said MSG Gilder Love, who attended the luncheon.

"Bringing the history of women back, that's important," said Love, Warrior Transition Battalion, who has served 27 years in the Army. "I grew up (in the 50s). Back then, women didn't really have a voice."

Much has improved since then regarding women's equality, she said.

The celebration marked the 30th year women's history has been recognized nationally.
The movement began in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8 National Women's History Week. The observance was extended to a month in 1987.

"Despite the odds, women have engraved their names into the hearts and minds of the people in this ... nation," said CPT Migdalia Summerville, mistress of ceremonies.

"They continue to play important economic, cultural and social roles in society," she said.
"Regardless of race, class or ethnic background, women have contributed to the growth of our great nation. This month and every month after, let us carry forth the legacy of our mothers and grandmothers ... for we are tasked with writing the next chapter in women's history."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16