Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS) has announced an upcoming event at the Trinity Test Site, the location of the first test explosion of a nuclear device July 16, 1945 on the White Sands Missile Range.
The Trinity Site is open to the public one day a year, which this year is Saturday, April 5. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium and Las Mujeres Hablan advocacy groups are organizing a peaceful Dia de los Muertos demonstration at the Stallion Range Station on Highway 380, east of San Antonio, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 5 and asking participants be on-site for two hours.
The theme is to remember and honor the dead and recognize and expose the pain that secrecy imposes. The organizers ask that participants paint their faces with skeletons or bring cardboard skeleton masks as well as water, snacks and posters.
Organizers will be providing information about the need to expand RECA and the National Institute of Health study to understand the lifestyles of those living downwind and downstream of the Trinity test.
The two advocacy organizations are working together to tell the rest of the Trinity Test story that is not found in history books. They have been working with local communities, congressional members and New Mexico legislators to bring attention to the tragic health effects suffered by those exposed to the first atomic test. The cancer rates in the counties surrounding the Trinity Site are among the highest in the nation, according to CCNS.
The groups are bringing attention to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), a federal law that provides compensation to those who were exposed to radiation from above-ground tests and uranium mining and milling. They are supporting the proposed RECA amendments, which are sponsored by the entire New Mexico Congressional delegation, to expand it to include those who were exposed to the Trinity Test.