National Atomic Veterans’ Day, July 16, 2016


On July 16, 1945, the United States conducted its first atomic bomb test — code-named Trinity —  set off in a section of the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range in New Mexico, 160 miles from Los Alamos. Between 1945 and 1963, the United States would conduct some 235 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific and the American Southwest.

In appreciation of the approximately 220,000 American service men and women who witnessed and participated in these tests, Congress and President Ronald Reagan designated July 16, 1983 as “National Atomic Veterans’ Day.” Since then, several states have declared July 16 as an annual “National Atomic Veterans’ Day”.

There are many books written about the development of the atomic bomb. Thanks to a recent comment on our website by author Dean Warren, Sandra and I have started reading his book, THE BOMB AND ITS DEADLY SHADOW: A MEMOIR. The author was a participant at Operation CROSSROADS in 1946. The author’s father, Dr. Stafford L. Warren, was head of the Medical Section of the Manhattan Project, then headed up the post-war survey of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and was appointed by the Navy to serve as Chief Radsafe (Radiologic Safety Section) at CROSSROADS. This promises to be a good read by someone “who was there.”

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