Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania earned international fame as the Steel City and for generations the steel produced here created many of America’s buildings, bridges, memorials & monuments. Steel mills and factories lined the railways and river ways of communities throughout the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania. The steelworkers soon garnered a reputation for being tough as nails with a solid blue-collar work ethic they adopted from their immigrant parents from countries around the world. The daily life of a steelworker involved the constant banging thunderous explosions of steel on steel, fumigating smoke & dust, overhead cranes & chains, searing temperatures from molten steel & pulverizing flames & flashes that could blind a man. The city became a melting pot of people from all over the world seeking the freedoms denied in their homeland. The mills provided them the opportunity to make a better life for their families and that golden American dream.
A few nights ago, I decided to create a new page on Facebook honoring the veterans of World War II & the steelworkers of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania. These were the men & women of my grandparents generation who have been called the ‘Greatest Generation’. They were a rare breed of Americans and our nation and the world will never see a generation quite like it ever again. They were entrenched in the very values of putting 100 percent into each work day and their patriotism was unwavering. It was because of all these basic principles and core values that the United States came together as one for the betterment of the country during World War II. I created the page as a living memorial-time capsule to chronicle their photos and personal stories into a growing history project. Future generations in Pittsburgh and around the world must come to appreciate the personal sacrifices they made in their lives so that our nation could continue to experience that golden American dream. Here is a link to the Facebook page which I created for the World War II Veterans & Steelworkers
Tuskegee Airmen from Pittsburgh, PA pose for a photograph.
Steel City Artist Illustrations ~ www.steelcityartist.com