Knoxville Daily Sun: Alexander, Udall resolution honors nation’s nuclear weapons workers

Posted on October 31, 2019

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said the Senate unanimously passed a resolution yesterday that designated October 30, 2019, as National Day of Remembrance for workers who helped develop and support the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

“Tennesseans played a major role in winning the Cold War, working countless hours with hazardous materials to build our nation’s nuclear defense,” Alexander said. “Thousands of nuclear workers didn’t serve in the heat of battle, but in the laboratory, working with highly radioactive and toxic substances, and paid a high price for their service to our country. This resolution recognizes the patriotism of these men and women in Tennessee and across the nation who have quietly sacrificed for our safety and freedom.” 

“The men and women who helped build the country’s first nuclear weapons and who mined and milled uranium made a critical contribution to our national defense,” Udall said. “During the Cold War, thousands of New Mexicans sacrificed their health – and in many cases, even their lives – in this effort. I’m proud to join Senator Alexander to pay tribute to the miners, millers, maintenance workers, scientists, and support staff in New Mexico and across the country whose sacrifice has too often gone unheralded. Last summer, we had a breakthrough in recognizing what some of these uranium miners and mill workers, their families, and so many others have endured – and I was proud to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the need to expand the Radiation Exposure and Compensation Act program to include many of those who were left out of the program. While Senate leadership did not bring our bill to the floor last year, we will not give up until those hurt by this nation’s nuclear weapons activities are fully compensated.”  

The Day of Remembrance honors Americans who supported the nation’s nuclear efforts from World War II through the Cold War, as well as workers in nuclear weapons programs today. Nuclear workers across the country continue this heroic legacy to advance nuclear power, nuclear medicine and other technology that continue to make our lives better and keep our country safe. 

Alexander and Udall introduced this resolution on October 24, 2019. The senators have sponsored all 11 resolutions.