Two nonprofit organizations have released the testimony they are submitting to Congress this week for hearings on a Manhattan Project national park that would include Oak Ridge.
The nonprofit Atomic Heritage Foundation has also released its testimony to the Senate and House, where Y-12 National Security Complex D. Ray Smith will testify at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Beehan will testify that Congress should move quickly to set up the park, the Atomic Heritage Foundation said.
“We should work to open this park while some Manhattan Project veterans are still alive and see their work recognized by the nation,” Beehan said in a foundation press release. The youngest of the 130,000 people who worked on the top-secret project, which built atomic bombs during World War II, are now approaching 90 years old.
Smith will emphasize the value the National Park Service brings to an area’s history.
“National park status for Oak Ridge has long been a dream of historians in the East Tennessee area,” he said in the press release.
The bills would set up a Manhattan Project National Historical Park at sites in Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, N.M., and Hanford, Wash., as recommended by the National Park Service Special Resource Study.
Beehan said all three communities are united in their support for the bill.
“This legislation is about giving current and future generations a better understanding of this indisputable turning point in world history,” Beehan said. “It is easy for those of us who live in the communities of Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, and the Tri-Cities (the area around the Hanford Site) to say that the Manhattan Project changed the world. The Manhattan Project is an incredible story that deserves to be preserved and told.”
ECA included five recommendations for the subcommittee:
- Establish the park now to honor Manhattan Project veterans,
- Protect ongoing DOE missions,
- Authorize user and entrance fees,
- Provide broad authority to the National Park Service to accept donation, and
- Allow nationally significant sites to be included.
This week’s hearings can be watched live online.