My Suffragettes, World War II, and the Right-to-Vote

This is an illustration for the Official Program Woman Suffrage Procession in Washing DC on March 3, 1913

By Benjamin Moran Dale (1889–1951), for the National American Women’s Suffrage Association – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24024303

I have many memories that are waiting in line to tell their tales but wanted to share this highlight as it has been on my mind of late. I was watching three men working recently on my kitchen renovations when I heard them talking about the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and World War II. This took me back to the 1900’s when two young, female, Irish college students, Patricia and Kathleen, moved into one of my apartments. It was around this time they became Suffragettes – women fighting for the right-to-vote.  Why these smart women didn’t have that right all along, I don’t fully understand, but it was an honor to watch them work hard for this deserved cause. 

Their struggles in this fight often made me feel helpless, mainly because I couldn’t do anything to help them, except to provide shelter and the freedom to hold their weekly, secret Suffragette meetings. The twins and many other supporters marched in the first national Suffrage Parade in the nation’s Capital on March 3, 1913.  Later, when you read my full story, you will experience first-hand what happened prior to their arrival in Washington D.C.

Little did the twins know how I lived so vicariously through their lives and for the right to vote in America.  And oh, how I wished I could have joined them in the march! I also felt their anxiety, anguish, pain, tears, and shock when their friends were drafted into World War II. What these two, fine women, among many others, did to help the War effort was heartwarming.  I wanted to cry for the troops and families left behind on the home front, instead I suffered in silence. Readers will also be able to find out how this experience too, influenced my twins’ lives.

Patricia’s and Kathleen’s immigrant family history goes back generations and coming to America indeed saved them from poverty and despair. I discovered how difficult life can be and realize that I have an important role as a cornerstone of all my tenants and their families’ lives. I know they need me, as much as I need them. I too have had my share of my ups and downs – suffered abandonment, survived auctions and the destruction of my apartment building in the middle of the night, and in recent times harbored the overwhelming fear of being torn down. But I am a survivor and my full story will be told in 2020 with the publication of FRED: Building of Dreams. There are more memories waiting to be told.

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