Women in the Military

An exhibit that highlights the role of women in the military and focuses on the service of local women will be featured at the King’s Daughters Library in Garnerville, beginning November 2 and lasting the entire month.

Local servicewomen receiving attention include Anne Ducey, who left her job teaching math at Haverstraw High School to enter the Navy at the start of World War II and rose to the rank of commander, and Mary Swift, who retired from the Air Force as the first female commandant of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at McGuire Air Force Base.

The exhibit, presented by Hudson Valley Exhibits, Inc. and curator Corinne McGeorge, begins Nov. 2 with a 2 p.m. ceremony featuring the North Rockland High School Naval ROTC Color Guard.

The featured speaker for the opening ceremony is Stony Point attorney Michael Diederich, who recently retired after nearly three decades of service on active and reserve duty with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Before his retirement from the Army, Diederich was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. As a student of military history, Diederich will reflect on the role of women in the military for the Revolutionary War and Civil War to the present day, when he earned the Bronze Star, which was presented to him by Brig. Gen. Kirsten French.

“Our military today,” Diederich believes, “could not function without its female members, from private to general.”

Also recounting her personal experience in the Navy and in helping to prepare young women for service to their country will be Mary Cavanagh, director of the ROTC program at North Rockland High School.

Other speakers include Rockland County Director of Veterans Services Jerry Donnellan, Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips and West Haverstraw Mayor John Ramundo.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during normal library hours.

Hudson Valley Exhibits, Inc. is a not-for-profit educational organization that produces and sponsors exhibits highlighting local history, events and individuals in the Lower Hudson Valley region. This and other exhibits are available for display in libraries, schools or other public settings. For information about the organization and its exhibits, visit www.Hudsonvalleyexhibits.org.