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The Military United States Technology

Historians Propose National Park To Preserve Manhattan Project Sites 150

Hugh Pickens writes writes "William J. Broad writes that a plan now before Congress would create a national park to protect the aging remnants of the atomic bomb project from World War II, including hundreds of buildings and artifacts scattered across New Mexico, Washington and Tennessee — among them the rustic Los Alamos home of Dr. Oppenheimer and his wife, Kitty, and a large Quonset hut, also in New Mexico, where scientists assembled components for the plutonium bomb dropped on Japan. 'It's a way to help educate the next generation,' says Cynthia C. Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, a private group in Washington that helped develop the preservation plan. 'This is a major chapter of American and world history. We should preserve what's left.' Critics have faulted the plan as celebrating a weapon of mass destruction, and have argued that the government should avoid that kind of advocacy. 'At a time when we should be organizing the world toward abolishing nuclear weapons before they abolish us, we are instead indulging in admiration at our cleverness as a species,' says Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich. Historians and federal agencies reply that preservation does not imply moral endorsement, and that the remains of so monumental a project should be saved as a way to encourage comprehension and public discussion. A park would be a commemoration, not a celebration, says Heather McClenahan, director of the Los Alamos Historical Society pointing out there are national parks commemorating slavery, Civil War battles and American Indian massacres. 'It's a chance to say, "Why did we do this? What were the good things that happened? What were the bad? How do we learn lessons from the past? How do we not ever have to use an atomic bomb in warfare again?" '"
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Historians Propose National Park To Preserve Manhattan Project Sites

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  • by xevioso ( 598654 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @08:46PM (#42198865)

    It's Christmas at ground zero
    There's music in the air
    The sleigh bells are ringing and the carolers are singing
    While the air raid sirens blare

    It's Christmas at ground zero
    The button has been pressed
    The radio just let us know
    That this is not a test

    Everywhere the atom bombs are dropping
    It's the end of all humanity
    No more time for last-minute shopping
    It's time to face your final destiny

    It's Christmas at ground zero
    There's panic in the crowd
    We can dodge debris while we trim the tree
    Underneath the mushroom cloud

    Ronald Reagan:
    Well, the big day is only a few hours away now.
    I'm sure you're all looking forward to it
    as much as we are.

    You might hear some reindeer on your rooftop
    Or Jack Frost on your windowsill
    But if someone's climbing down your chimney
    You better load your gun and shoot to kill

    It's Christmas at ground zero
    And if the radiation level's okay
    I'll go out with you and see all the new
    Mutations on New Year's Day

    It's Christmas at ground zero
    Just seconds left to go
    I'll duck and cover with my Yuletide lover
    Underneath the mistletoe

    It's Christmas at ground zero
    Now the missiles are on their way
    What a crazy fluke, we're gonna get nuked
    On this jolly holiday

    What a crazy fluke, we're gonna get nuked
    On this jolly holiday!

    --Wierd Al Yankovic
    Christmas At Ground Zero

  • by xevioso ( 598654 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @09:26PM (#42199197)

    That's weird; I thought I wrote wierd. Weird.

  • by formfeed ( 703859 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:10PM (#42200007)

    arc de triomphe, Trafalgar square, brandenburg gate, etc?

    Nothing in comparison.
    Brandenburg Gate: Built to represent peace, so Napoleon could come and visit the city.
    Trafalgar square: built after Napoleon's defeat, to remind the British Nation that French people are funny.
    The Arc de Triomphe: built after Napoleon's victory, to remind the French Nation not to discriminate against short people.

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