When Ken Rueter and Alan Tatum met beside the iconic Friendship Bell in Bissell Park recently, they took a moment to reflect on the importance of preserving what the Bell symbolizes to the Oak Ridge community.
Tatum, an accelerator systems and stable isotopes group leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is co-chair of the International Friendship Bell Advisory Committee along with Pat Postma. Rueter is President and Project Manager of URS | CH2M Oak Ridge LLC, or UCOR, cleanup contractor for the East Tennessee Technology Park and other sites on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation. Both men serve on the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Advisory Board.
The occasion of their May meeting was UCOR’s donation of $15,000 toward an effort to construct a new peace pavilion for the 8,300-pound bronze bell. Cast in Japan in 1993, the bell was dedicated at its current location in 1996 as a 50th anniversary landmark for the creation of the City of Oak Ridge, home to nuclear production facilities that helped end World War II. The bell symbolizes the bonds of peace and friendship that have been forged by Oak Ridge and Japan in the decades since the war ended. [Read more…]