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America’s oldest national park ranger retires at 100

(CNN) — Betty Reid Soskin, the National Park Service’s oldest active ranger, retired on Thursday, just months after celebrating her 100th birthday.

Soskin spent more than a decade working at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park after joining the service full-time in 2011, according to an NPS statement. The park, located in Richmond, California, aims to showcase the work and experiences of American civilians on the home front of World War II.

“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 in the NPS press release. .

As a park ranger, Soskin conducted public programs with visitors and shared his own personal experiences of World War II. And she worked to bring to light the untold stories of African Americans and other people of color during the war.

“Being a primary source in sharing this story – my story – and shaping a new national park has been exciting and fulfilling,” Soskin said. “It turned out to give meaning to my later years.”

The NPS praised Soskin’s accomplishments on Instagram, writing, “We are grateful for Betty’s lifelong dedication to sharing her story and wish her the best in her retirement!”

Soskin has had a long road to the NPS.

Finally, Soskin found her calling the park service and sharing her stories in her 80s. She even caught the attention of the White House and was selected to introduce President Barack Obama at the White House Tree Lighting Ceremony in 2015.

Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park will celebrate Soskin’s retirement on April 16.

“She used stories from her life on the home front, drawing meaning from those experiences in a way that makes this story truly impactful for those of us living today,” Naomi Torres, Acting Superintendent of Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, said in the NPS release.

CNN’s Emanuella Grinberg contributed to this report.

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