FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz.- The U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology (NETCOM) hosted, the U.S. Army Fort Huachuca Women's Equality Day observance Aug. 23. This year’s Women’s Equality Day theme, centered on women’s increased representation and firsts in a variety of career fields, while also reflecting on future opportunities for continued improvement. The Defense Department honors the contributions of women serving in the military and celebrates the richness and diversity of their achievements.
In celebrating Women's Equality Day officially on Aug. 26, the nation recognizes the significance of women's contributions but also the value of diversity and an ever-inclusive environment. The Women's Equality Day Observance celebrates the passing of the 19th amendment by Congress in 1920, which guarantees all American women the right to vote.
Joining NETCOM’s observance and serving as guest speaker was Dr. Linda Denno, from the University of Arizona, (UoA). Denno is Associate Dean of Academic & Faculty Affairs for the University of Arizona, College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST), headquartered at the branch campus in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Unlike other observances and breaking tradition, the NETCOM team at the start of the event put on a virtual icebreaker designed to add a little context and light humor to the occasion. Thus, by playing the 1970’s Schoolhouse Rock animated short ‘Suffering until Suffrage,’ the audience was slightly taken back to 1976 as they were able to enjoy yesteryear’s teaching anime via music and lyric.
In contrast, Denno’s opening remarks capitalized on the fact that the passage of the 19th Amendment is a testament to the courage and tenacity of those who challenged the nation to live up to its founding principles, quoting from both the late Dr. Martin Luther King and President Abraham Lincoln.
Restating Kings words, Denno said, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
Likewise reemphasizing Lincoln’s thoughts on equality Denno said, Abraham Lincoln reminded us that the authors of the Declaration of Independence “did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet, that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit.”
According to Denno, the journey to secure women's rights—and especially women’s voting rights—was far from smooth. The suffrage movement faced stiff opposition from various quarters. Some argued that women's involvement in politics would undermine traditional family roles, while others simply asserted that women lacked the capacity to make informed decisions.
Denno also went on to say, “the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment on August 18, 1920 marked a cornerstone, an embodiment of the enduring American spirit that believes in and continues to fight for justice and equality for all.”
In closing Denno reminded everyone that as we celebrate Women’s Equality Day not to forget the important milestone of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.
“By ensuring that every citizen's voice is heard, we honor the legacy of the suffragists who moved us closer to fulfilling the promissory note left by the founding generation, that the rights guaranteed by our Constitution belong to all Americans,” Denno said.
After the event NETCOM Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Christopher L. Eubank, recognized Denno for her contributions to the observance.
“Thank you for your steadfast support to advance the spirit of the Fort Huachuca Women’s Equality Day Observance. Fort Huachuca, its Soldiers and department of the Army Civilians appreciate the importance of your contribution to this year’s observance,” Eubank said.