Resolution calling for July 16 to be a "National Day of Remembrance".

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The following request was received from Terry T. Brady, Alaska Commander NAAV

Please see attached letter to the Alaska Congressional delegation. I would hope delegates from every district could receive letters from constituents concerning this matter. Robert Campbell of Maine broached the idea to me. If each letter was individual, but on the same topic, I believe we can make some headway.
Thank you,
Terry T. Brady, Alaska Commander NAAV
(U.S. Marine Corps, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, 1953-56)

     Terry T. Brady, Alaska State Commander
     3842 Wesleyan Drive
     Anchorage, AK 99508-4821
     Phone 1-907-333-9462

April 12, 2000

Rep. Donald E. Young
2111 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0201

Dear Representative Young:

July 16, 2000 is the 55th Anniversary of the first atomic explosion, the Trinity Shot, held on a dark summer morning in New Mexico, that forever changed our world and the lives of literally billions of human beings the alive those yet too be alive and many now dead.

As the Alaska State Commander of the National Association of Atomic Veterans, on behalf of nuclear veterans, including those still with us, healthy and sick; and those who paid the ultimate price of an early death caused by non-combat radiation wounds; as well as hundreds of thousands of family members affected; I respectfully request you introduce and/or support a House Joint Resolution calling for July 16 to be a "National Day of Remembrance".

Nothing affected the last half of the 20th Century, as did the introduction of the Nuclear Age, for good or for evil. And the 21st Century is starting off with the threats still over us.

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. Servicemen and women, and many thousands more civilians, were subject to ionizing radiation from nuclear weapons, during manufacture, in storage, and deployed, beginning with Trinity. This included American Prisoners of War in Japan in August 1945, and the non-volunteers at the hundreds of atmospheric tests in the Pacific and Nevada Test Sites. In addition the handlers of nuclear material throughout the "Cold War", continuing to the young men and women of Desert Storm, have all been affected.

Many times these personnel, sworn to secrecy for great portions of their lives, were exposed and many of those alive are ill, yet unrecognized.

The "Day of Remembrance" must also recognize the citizens of our nation who were unknowingly exposed, as uranium miners, nuclear plant workers, those living downwind of atmospheric tests and as the story is told, many more affected simply because they were alive and breathing.

As the nation that "beat the Axis enemies to developing the science that provides weapons of mass destruction" as well as "hopefully peaceful uses of the atom", it would be magnanimous if the United States would formally recognize former enemies as well as friends who likewise have been affected since July 1945.

The "Nuclear Problem" is a "Human Problem" and as a former military man you know that a loosed bullet or a stray ion knows neither friend nor foe.

Perhaps a "National Day of Remembrance" will remind contemporary leaders to act in ways so that the "Nuclear Genie" that was loosed on July 16, 1945 is never again "Let out of the Bottle."

Then the veterans can rest, knowing their risks, and sacrifices (as well as those of the families) will have meant something positive, rather than just being forgotten veterans of the "Cold War".

I thank you for considering this request, and offer all the support that the National Association of Atomic Veterans can give in bringing this day about, not just as a hollow resolution from Congress but as a media happening that all can partake of.


Terry T. Brady, Alaska State Commander
National Association of Atomic Veterans

cc: Sen. Ted Stevens
     Sen. Frank Murkowski
     Gov. Tony Knowles

"Cold" is a relative term to those bearing witness to the awesome atomic and hydrogen bomb blasts.