For two hours, Friends of Taddle Creek Park and the partner of a deceased man who worked there held a poignant memorial event Saturday for Florence Rosberg, a pioneering neonatal nurse at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.
The friends’ mentor and Rosberg’s best friend, Laura Borbey, was walking the route leading from the back to the new South Loop apartment Rosberg had lived in with Borbey. Borbey lit incense, pictures of Rosberg hung from trees, and mourners wrote comfort messages on balloons that were released into the sky.
But hundreds of feet away from the speakers, on the entire west side of the park, a bulldozer rattled against the yellow “BUILD NEW CITY” sign on top of a building, and construction work continued on the hospital’s gleaming new facility.
Washington’s obituaries pages are typically filled with stories about the honorees’ feats in their careers. However, “her exploits as a nurse made national news,” her obituary reads. Rosberg was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1930.
The go-getter stuck to her dream even after she grew tired of working in the hospital setting. She moved to New York City in 1958 to study at the New York School of Nursing but, according to the obituary, “threw all her medical aspirations away after coming to D.C. to help care for a soldier injured during World War II.”