*Betty Reid Soskinthe oldest active ranger in the National Park Service (NPS), announced her retirement on Thursday.
Her retirement comes “after a decade and a half of sharing her personal experiences and the efforts of women from diverse backgrounds who worked on the home front of World War II,” NPS said in a statement. PEOPLE reports.
“Participating in helping to mark where this dramatic trajectory of my own life, combined with others of my generation, will influence the future through the footprints we left behind has been incredible,” Soskin said.
“Being a primary source in sharing this story – my story – and shaping a new national park has been exciting and fulfilling,” she added. “It turned out to give meaning to my later years.”
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In a post announcing his retirement on Twitter, the NPS wrote:Betty Reid Soskin, the National Park Service’s longest serving ranger, retired today after a distinguished career. Soskin, who celebrated her 100th birthday in 2021, has spent the past decade and a half sharing her personal experiences and the efforts of women from diverse backgrounds who worked on the home front of World War II. Its interpretive programs at @rosietheriveternps has also illuminated the history of African Americans and other people of color, and his efforts demonstrate how his work has impacted how the NPS conveys that history to audiences across the United States.
According to the park’s IG post, “On the last day she wore the ‘flat hat,’ Soskin offered an interpretive program to the public and visited friends. We are grateful for Betty’s lifelong dedication. to share his story and wish him the best for his retirement!” wrote the NPS.
According to PEOPLE, Soskin’s tours often included her sharing “his unique story, which includes working in a segregated union hall as a file clerk during World War II and later becoming a political and community activist and songwriter during the civil rights movement.”
“Although I am not a trained historian, my tours are necessarily a means of sharing my oral history with the public,” Soskin said in an interview with TODAY in 2015. “I Tell the Story of African-American Workers.”