The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association has proposed that the U.S. 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 World War II and (b) a remembrance of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with special invitations going to representatives of the 25 countries that suffered the highest casualties during the war, a press release said.
Both the U.S. Department of Energy 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, the press release said.
“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, who heads the ORHPA committee on the proposal. “It would also honor all who fell during World War II.”
Most of the scientific progress in the seven decades since the war would have been impossible to achieve had the cycle of unlimited global wars continued, the press release said. Only 20 years separated World War I and World War 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,” the press release said. “Instead of a disastrous World War III, 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 McBride, chair of the ORHPA Anniversary Proposal Committee.
Large-scale international scientific cooperation would have been impossible, the press release said.
“Scientific information would have been heavily censured and classified—as it was during the Second World War,” the press release said. “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,” McBride said. “And the 75th anniversary 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 25 countries that suffered the highest casualties during World War II, the press release said.
“The terrible sacrifice of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II has been the primary factor preventing World War III for seven full decades,” the press release said. “This has allowed our civilization an amazing opportunity to grow and develop.”
Highlighting the 25 countries who suffered most during World War II would reflect an appreciation of the horrible, wide-spread destruction of that conflict and a deep respect for all who died during the war, the press release said.
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 release said.
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 press release said.
The DOE American Museum of Science and Energy would make a perfect venue, the release said.
“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,” McBride said. “We do hope they take a serious look at the ORHPA proposal to make this significant anniversary an ‘international’ affair.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2016 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.