2012 National Day of Remembrance
On July 16, the United States Senate passed S. Res. 519 designating October 30, 2012 as a national day of remembrance for nuclear weapons program workers. This marks the fourth year in a row that the Congress has chosen to recognize the dedication and accomplishment of these workers. This year, HSS partnered with the Cold War Patriots (CWP) and the National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM) to sponsor an event at the NATM in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 26th, 2012. Speakers at the event included US Senator Harry Reid, Glenn Podonsky, the DOE Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer, Troy Wade, Chairman of the NATM, and Kevin Fitzgerald of Cold War Patriots.
After the ceremony, the Cold War Patriots quilt, with over 1000 squares with the names of former nuclear and uranium workers was formally unveiled. Over 150 individuals attended the celebration and ceremony. Attendees received a commemorative Manhattan Project replica pin and enjoyed free admission to the museum.
DOE Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer Glenn Podonsky addressing the crowd at the National Day of Remembrance event in Nevada. Seated behind him from left to right are Mr. Troy Wade, Chairman of the National Atomic Testing Museum, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Dr. Stephan Wells, President of the Desert Research Institute.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid addressing the crowd during the National Day of Remembrance Ceremony in Nevada at the National Atomic Testing Museum.
The crowd looks on during the Ceremony in Nevada.
Attendees at the event in Nevada gathered under the National Day of Remembrance commemorative quilt.
There were 6 other National Day of Remembrance events held throughout the country and details have been provided below.
- The DOE Savannah River Site (SRS) honored the National Day of Remembrance during their annual SRS 25 Year Receptions, held on October 2nd and 3rd, 2012. Over 1,800 workers attended the event over two days. The leadership at the SRS spoke about the National Day of Remembrance, and representatives from the Cold War Patriots attended and unveiled a 17-foot wide by 11-foot tall quilt in the design of an American flag that was made with squares signed by workers at previous years events.
Tim Lerew of the Cold War Patriots points out a quilt square to attendees at the Savannah River Site 25 Year Reception.
The inaugural 2009 commemoration concluded with placement of a special commemorative bronze marker at the SRS Badge Office that remains on prominent display today.
Copy of a thank you letter from the Savannah River Site Manager, Dr. David Moody, honoring all SRS workers on this National Day of Remembrance
- On October 30, 2012, over 100 former nuclear workers and family members attended an event sponsored by the Cold War Patriots at the ATLC Union Hall in Oak Ridge, TN. Congressman John Duncan, and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann attended and spoke at the event. Glenn Bell, former Y-12 worker and co-founder of Y-12's Beryllium Support Group spoke words of support for the many Cold War era workers in attendance. Richard Anderson, whose late wife Janine helped get the first NDR passed, had a memory book for attendees to sign.
- The Cold War Patriots sponsored an event on on Friday October 26th, at the Richland Community Center in Richland WA. Ryan Rodruck, a representative from Congressman Doc Hastings office spoke about the contribution of nuclear workers, as did Eric Jackson, from Cold War Patriots, and Faye Vlieger, local advocate and former worker. Donald Sorenson, a local historian brought Cold War Era photographs and displays for attendees to view.
Attendees look on during the ceremony in Richland, WA.
- The Cold War Patriots sponsored an event on the West steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Congressman Mike Coffman, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, and a representative from Congressman Jared Polis' office spoke at the event.
Congressman Mike Coffman (CO) addresses the crowd during the ceremony in Denver, Colorado. Congressman Ed Perlmutter looks on in the left of the photo.
- The Cold War Patriots sponsored an event at the Carpenters Union Hall in Amarillo, TX. Sarah Ray, from the CWP addressed the group.
- Several hundred Navajos from across the reservation attended an event at the Shiprock Chapter House in North West New Mexico. The event was aimed at former uranium workers who contributed to the nuclear weapons effort. A National Day of Remembrance quilt with 258 personal names of former uranium workers was formally unveiled at the celebration.