How Do We Care for Downwinders?
It starts with recognizing their sacrifice, formally, officially, publicly. Downwinders is a term referring, in this case, to folks who were downwind of nuclear fallout when the US was poisoning the air, water, and soil of our beloved planet via nuclear bomb explosion tests. The wind carried the toxic explosion residue to places in the immediate and far-away areas from the testing sites.
For five years now, the US Government has recognized what activists have been commemorating for at least 16 years, namely, that January 27th is a day for the nation to consider the price paid by the downwinders of the NNSS, the Trinity Site, and the nuclear tests in Guam. Whenever anyone adds their voice to the downwinders' commemoration, it is a good thing.
The Resolution by the US Government to make January 27th a commemorative day came from legislation originally introduced "to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to provide expanded restitution for Americans exposed to atomic weapons tests, in addition to former workers in uranium mines." In the expanded focus, the Risch-Crapo Resolution of November 17, 2011 expanded eligible downwind areas "to include all of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah for the Nevada Test Site; New Mexico for the Trinity Test Site; and Guam for the Pacific tests".
So far we know that a prayer service will be held in Utah on the 20th, a week prior to Downwinders Day, and another event in Nevada on the actual anniversary date.
Here's the one in Nevada:
Come pray for the survivors of US nuclear weapons tests, particularly our neighbors in Utah who suffered cancers, leukemia and other health troubles from the hundreds of nuclear bomb detonations at the NNSS between 1951 and 1992. Fr. Barry Vaughn and Bishop Dan Thomas of the Episcopal Church will be part of the group prayer-action.
Saturday January 27th 2018
1pm to 2pm
Mercury Exit, US Hwy 95 (park on the south side and hike 1/4 mile to the white line in the road.)
Call 702.751.4363 for Carpool info.
Here's the news release:
Download Downwinders Day Fliers (nine on one sheet)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Also, one in Utah, A WEEK BEFORE Nevada's Event will be...
Saturday, Jan. 20, 6:30 pm
Congregation Kol Ami
2425 E Heritage Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
This 7th annual “Remembering Downwinders” at Congregation Kol Ami includes Sarah A. Fox, songwriter Kate MacLeod, Havdalah by Rabbi Ilana, a meditation by Clare Julian, and candle lighting with sharing.
Sarah Fox will be the guest speaker at this interfaith event. Sarah will also be speaking to students on campus at the UofU. Ms. Fox is the author of Downwind: A People's History of the Nuclear West.