The United States Senate yesterday approved a resolution sponsored by Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) declaring October 30, 2009, a national day of remembrance in honor of the thousands of men and women who supported the nation’s nuclear efforts during the Cold War.
“Our nation’s nuclear workers bravely served our country at a time when we needed them most and they deserve to be honored,” said Bunning. “Many of these workers developed illnesses as a result of their service at DOE nuclear plants during the Cold War and I have done everything I can from my seat on the Energy Committee in the United States Senate to make sure that they are fairly compensated for a job well done. Now, by approving this resolution, the Senate has declared that on October 30, 2009, the whole nation will recognize these fine men and women for the sacrifices they made.”
“I thank Senator Bunning for his leadership as the pioneer in this effort to recognize the dedicated nuclear workers who were so instrumental in our Cold War victory,” said Alexander. “Tennessee has more workers who were made sick through their exposure to nuclear weapon hazards than any other state in the union. They put their health and their lives in jeopardy in the service of their country—often without knowing it—which is why I’m glad the Senate has designated a national day of remembrance to honor them.”
“Thousands of Department of Energy employees in Oak Ridge and around the country were exposed to hazardous material while working to boost the nuclear arsenal that helped win the Cold War. I was honored to help carry the original legislation to provide benefits to these patriotic Americans. This resolution recognizes these Cold War warriors for their dedication and sacrificial service to our country,” said Congressman Zach Wamp, who authored a companion resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives. “We have a solemn obligation to these sick workers now suffering from work-related illnesses who have given so much to our nation.”