Thou­sands visit Trinity on an­niver­sary of 1st nuke

The China Post - - FEATURE -

Thou­sands of vis­i­tors con­verged Satur­day on the New Mex­ico site where the first nu­clear bomb was det­o­nated nearly 70 years ago.

More than 5,500 peo­ple at­tended the first of two tours be­ing of­fered this year at the Trinity Site, White Sands Mis­sile Range of­fi­cials said.

Vis­i­tors came not just from all over New Mex­ico but the U.S. Peo­ple are con­tin­u­ally fas­ci­nated to see the place that lit­er­ally marks a turn­ing point in his­tory, White Sands spokes­woman Erin Dor­rance said.

“It brought a quick end to World War II, and it ush­ered in the atomic age,” Dor­rance said. “So out here in the mid­dle of nowhere, New Mex­ico changed the world 70 years ago.”

It was July 16, 1945, when Los Alamos sci­en­tists suc­cess­fully ex­ploded the first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site, lo­cated near Alam­ogordo.

Sev­eral doc­u­men­tary crews, in­clud­ing some from Ja­pan, were present.

Many at­ten­dees posed for pic­tures near an obelisk mark­ing the ex­act lo­ca­tion where the bomb went off. They were also able to see a steel shell that was cre­ated as a backup plan to keep plu­to­nium from spread­ing dur­ing the ex­plo­sion.

Tourists who joined a ve­hi­cle car­a­van out to the site at a school in Tu­larosa were greeted by pro­test­ers from the Tu­larosa Basin Down­winders. The Down­winders is a grass-roots group that has set out to bring public aware­ness about the neg­a­tive im­pacts of the det­o­na­tion of the bomb.

“In my fam­ily, there’s six fam­ily mem­bers that have can­cer, and two have died from can­cer,” said Jan Rael, a Down­winder mem­ber. “I’ve just had it in my heart for so long that some­thing was wrong be­cause of the atomic bomb at the Trinity Site.”

The group is push­ing for Congress to in­clude af­fected New Mex­ico res­i­dents un­der the 1990 Ra­di­a­tion Ex­po­sure Com­pen­sa­tion Act.

AP

In this Wed­nes­day, March 18 photo, quarry work­ers are trans­ported in pickup trucks af­ter dawn from Shu­rafa vil­lage, Minya, south­ern Egypt. Around 45,000 peo­ple, in­clud­ing chil­dren, work in an es­ti­mated 1,500 quar­ries, dig­ging out stones that later will be used in con­struc­tion or pow­dered to be used by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and ce­ramic com­pa­nies.

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