Elinor Otto-NBC-LAvideo

Rosie the Riveter is one of the most iconic symbols of women empowerment today, but it dates back to World War II when women dropped everything to serve their country — and the world — by working on assembly lines to make tanks and airplanes.

“We knew the war had to be won, and we had to help because the men were gone,” said 95-year-old Elinor Otto who has worked as a riveter constructing planes since 1942.

Finally retiring this month, she crossed the country to promote the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, which happens next year, and to remind everyone of the important role women played in that victory.

She arrived in Washington, DC this weekend and visited a senior living home nearby, to honor the veterans living there, including two who are former POWs.

This lively redhead loved her job working on C-17s in Long Beach, California, and gets choked up every time she sees one fly.

She is in the nation’s capitol to receive a special award from the American Veterans Center, the Lillian K. Keil award for Women’s Contribution to the Military.

(WATCH the video below or READ the story from NBC-Los Angeles)

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