Waynesville mayor speaks on Women’s Equality Day Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 August 2013
Story and photo by Melissa Buckley
GUIDON staff
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Fort Leonard Wood celebrated Women’s Equality Day Monday in Lincoln Hall Auditorium with guest speaker Lula Mae “Luge” Hardman, city of Waynesville mayor.

The observance was hosted by Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general.

“I am a stronger man because of the women who have been in my life and who are in my life today,” Smith said.

The 399th Army Band entertained the crowd with “Roar” by Katy Perry and “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.

Then, Hardman took the microphone.

“Women throughout history have been rabble-rousers,” Hardman said. “I’ve been one of them, usually.”

Hardman touched on several women in U.S. history that were civil rights leaders and society reformers.

“Women tend to be concerned about these things because we bring the children into this world — and we want the world to be a better place,” Hardman said.

She also shared a personal story about her grandmother.

“One thing I remember grandma always telling us was, ‘Never miss a chance to vote. Always take advantage of what others have done for you,’” Hardman said. “Maybe my Grandma Pate didn’t march in any parades, she didn’t get out and sign any petitions, but she did take advantage of what had been done for her and she took part.”

According to Smith, women make up 13 percent of the active Army, 23 percent of the Army Reserve and 15 percent of the National Guard.

In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day. The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 September 2013 )