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Talk to Terrie: Preparing for the 10th Annual National Day of Remembrance

October 9, 2018

October 9, 2018

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This October 30 is the tenth anniversary of the National Day of Remembrance.  This day honors the men and women who worked at the nuclear weapons complex from the Manhattan Project and continuing through today.  I’d like to share a few of my memories how this day became an annual event.

The late Janine Anderson first brought this idea to Cold War Patriots Advisory Committee in 2009.  She had a firm position that the workers who built the weapons arsenal should receive public recognition for their commitment in protecting our country.  These civilians were exposed to the deadliest substances known to man, often without their knowledge.

The Advisory Committee readily adopted this proposal.  That was the easy part.  The question was how could we accomplish this goal?  After a bit of research, we learned that the U.S. Senate is the body which adopts resolutions of this type.  So, off we went to Washington, DC and walked the halls of Congress.  We decided to do that instead of just sending a letter because often a personal visit has more impact than just a mere letter.  Plus, we had a few other concerns with the compensation program to discuss.

We visited DC for a few years after that.  The Senate offices obviously were very receptive to honoring the civilian nuclear weapons workers and many Senators over the years have co-sponsored the resolution.

Historically, my role in planning the National Day of Remembrance events were limited to getting the resolution approved by the Senate and inviting Congressional members or their staff to attend the local events.  This year I was honored to participate in every step of Cold War Patriots’ planning.

I had no idea until this year how much planning goes into these events.  As one person on the National Day of Remembrance Event Committee stated, “It’s like planning ten different weddings being held on the same day.”

No detail, no matter how minor it may seem to be, was left out.  Discussions ranged from the order of the speakers, to how to promote the events, to which dignitary should perform which task, to even whether donuts or cookies should be served during the worker reunion hour.  On top of this attention to details, the discussions always focused on what would be best for the local participants and audience.

I am so impressed with the event committee and how hard they work to ensure the National Day of Remembrance will be a special day for workers and their families.

The dates and locations of Cold War Patriots’ National Day of Remembrance events can be found here,  Please join us as we honor the workers who worked to keep America safe.