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Cold War Patriots Press Release on the National Day of Remembrance

October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011

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Senate Passes Unanimous Resolution Honoring Cold War Nuclear Workers With National Day of Remembrance

 

Resolution recognizes sacrifices made by nuclear weapons and uranium workers who risked their lives serving their country during the Cold War.

(DENVER, CO September 27, 2011) The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution last night designating October 30, 2011, a national day of remembrance for uranium and nuclear weapons workers who served their country during the Cold War Era.

The resolution was sponsored by U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

After World War II, hundreds of thousands of Americans went to work to build our nation’s nuclear arsenal and help us win the Cold War, and many were exposed to dangerous substances on the job, often without their knowledge, said Senator Mark Udall. I’ll continue fighting to get them the compensation they deserve, and I’m proud to recognize and thank them for their sacrifices.

There are thousands of Americans who defended our nation during the Cold War, who didn’t serve in the heat of battle but in the laboratory, where they worked with hazardous materials that were little understood at that time, said Senator Alexander. We should take the time to recognize their quiet sacrifice for our safety and freedom.

Cold War Patriots, a non-profit organization advocating for nuclear weapons complex workers, launched the National Day of Remembrance campaign in 2009 to ensure that the former workers will get the recognition they deserve. At the height of the Cold War, over 1,000,000 men and women worked in 350 facilities in 43 states to make the country’s nuclear deterrent possible. Many of them developed disabling or fatal illnesses because of exposure to radiation and toxic substances while producing and testing nuclear weapons. On October 30, Cold War Patriots will honor their contribution to America’s defense with celebrations in a dozen communities around the country.

On October 30 we will honor these unsung heroes, said Greg Austin, Chairman of the Cold War Patriots Advisory Committee. We applaud the Senate for making sure they will not be forgotten.

Cold War Patriots is the first national network connecting nuclear workers and uranium miners with support and assistance with complicated issues, including benefits claims. The organization’s advisory committee includes workers, physicians and attorneys.

Membership in Cold War Patriots is free to current and former nuclear weapons workers, uranium miners, millers, and haulers, as well as other individuals, family members or professionals that support the Cold War Patriot mission. For more information visit www.coldwarpatriots.com or call 888-903-8989.

The text of the resolution is below:

RESOLUTION

Designating October 30, 2011, as a national day of remembrance for nuclear weapons program workers.

Whereas, since World War II, hundreds of thousands of men and women, including uranium miners, millers, and haulers, have served the United States by building the nuclear defense weapons of the United States;

Whereas these dedicated workers paid a high price for their service to develop a nuclear weapons program for the benefit of the United States, including having developed disabling or fatal illnesses;

Whereas the Senate recognized the contribution, service, and sacrifice these patriotic men and women made for the defense of the United States in Senate Resolution 151, 111th Congress, agreed to May 20, 2009, and Senate Resolution 653, 111th Congress, agreed to September 28, 2010;

Whereas a national day of remembrance time capsule has been crossing the United States, collecting artifacts and the stories of the nuclear workers relating to the nuclear defense era of the United States;

Whereas these stories and artifacts reinforce the importance of recognizing these nuclear workers; and

Whereas these patriotic men and women deserve to be recognized for the contribution, service, and sacrifice they have made for the defense of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate

(1) designates October 30, 2011, as a national day of remembrance for nuclear weapons program workers, including uranium miners, millers, and haulers, of the United States; and

(2) encourages the people of the United States to support and participate in appropriate ceremonies, programs, and other activities to commemorate October 30, 2011, as a national day of remembrance for past and present workers in the nuclear weapons program of the United States.