The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association has proposed that the Department of Energy and the City of Oak Ridge host two international events during their 75th anniversary.
The events are: (a) an exhibit on the international scientific progress made during the seven decades since WWII and (b) a remembrance of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with special invitations going to representatives of the twenty-five countries that suffered the highest casualties during WWII.
Both the DOE nuclear complex and the City of Oak Ridge were born in the turbulent year following the Pearl Harbor attack (1942) as part of President Roosevelt’s massive—and super-secret—effort to build the first atomic bomb. “Including these two events in this year’s anniversary would showcase DOE’s important contributions to mankind and enhance international understanding and cooperation,” said Martin McBride, Ph.D., who heads the ORHPA committee on the proposal. “It would also honor all who fell during WWII.”
Most of the scientific progress in the seven decades since WWII would have been impossible to achieve, had the cycle of unlimited global wars continued. Only 20 years separated WWI and II.
The experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made Stalin and Truman settle the Berlin blockade; made Khrushchev and Kennedy find a way out of the Cuban Missile Crisis; and so on. Instead of a disastrous WWIII, a new period of international scientific advancement began—creating an incredible growth-of understanding in everything from medicine to high-energy physics.
“The science of today would look very different had the cycle of unlimited global wars continued,” said Dr. McBride. Large-Scale international scientific cooperation would have been impossible. Scientific information would have been heavily censured and classified— as it was during the Second World War. Non-Military research would have been all but ignored in the struggle for national survival.
“Seven decades of international scientific growth is a remarkable achievement,” said McBride. “And the 75thanniversary is a wonderful opportunity to recognize this.”
The second recommendation is to host an international remembrance of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with special invitations going to representatives of the twenty-five countries that suffered the highest casualties during WWII.
The terrible sacrifice of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII has been the primary factor preventing WWIII for seven full decades. This has allowed our civilization an amazing opportunity to grow and develop.
Highlighting the twenty-five countries who suffered most during WWII would reflect an appreciation of the horrible, wide-spread destruction of that conflict and a deep respect for all who died during the war. It’s estimated that 50 to 70 million people perished during World War II, more than a hundred times the number who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. An anniversary of remembrance—with a celebration of the incredible scientific progress made in the last seven decades—would honor everyone.
The ORHPA proposal suggests the two events be held as part of this year’s Secret City Festival, scheduled for early June.
Alternatively, the events could be scheduled later in the year. The DOE American Museum of Science and Energy would make a perfect venue.
“The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association would welcome the opportunity to help plan whichever heritage activities that DOE and the City choose to pursue,” said McBride. “We do hope they take a serious look at the ORHPA proposal to make this significant anniversary an ‘international’ affair.”
You can contact Martin McBride at 865-482-5386 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.