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Letters: The bomb in U.S. history

June 11, 2013

Re "Preserving atomic history," Opinion, June 7

Though Stephanie Meeks seems to be convinced that a Manhattan Project National Park would provide space for thoughtful reflection about the legacy of nuclear weapons, there is strong reason to believe this would not be the case.

Meeks states that the park would be jointly managed by the National Parks Service and the Department of Energy. The DOE is still very much in the business of manufacturing nuclear weapons. For example, its B61 program will spend billions to give new military capabilities and decades more of existence to an obsolete nuclear bomb that we deploy in five European countries.

Such a vested interest suggests that the DOE may champion the existence of nuclear weapons rather than question their legacy.

Our representatives in Congress have a moral and legal responsibility to focus on creating the conditions in which nuclear weapons will be abolished worldwide. That would be a legacy that every American could be proud of.

Rick Wayman

Santa Barbara

The writer is director of programs for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945. I was called to active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps on Aug. 8, 1945.

When we arrived for basic training, we were told that we were to have been trained for an attack on the Japanese home islands. It was anticipated that U.S. forces could suffer up to 1 million casualties. But with the Japanese sure to surrender, we would be used for occupation duty in Germany or Japan.

Had the bombs not been used, I might have become one of the anticipated 1 million casualties. This too is part of our atomic history

Norman Redlich

Woodland Hills

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