Alexander, Udall Resolution Honors Nation’s Nuclear Weapons Workers

Posted on October 1, 2020

WASHINGTON, October 1 – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) today said the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to designate October 30, 2020, as National Day of Remembrance for workers who helped develop and support the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

“Between 1942 and 1945, as many as 75,000 individuals in Oak Ridge worked on the Manhattan Project, and today, the Y-12 National Security Complex employs more than 4,000 Tennesseans. Our country is safer because of these patriotic men and women, and I’m proud to represent a community of such vital importance to our nation’s defense,” Alexander said. “Over the past 18 years, I have worked hard to ensure nuclear weapons workers that paid a high price for our safety could receive benefits through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. And I have cosponsored all twelve resolutions the United States Senate has passed designating October 30th as a national day of remembrance, which recognizes the patriotism of these men and women in Tennessee and across the nation who have quietly sacrificed for our safety and freedom.”

"New Mexicans have proudly contributed to our nation’s security for generations. During the Cold War, thousands of New Mexicans sacrificed their health – and in many cases, even their lives – to build the country’s first nuclear weapons and mine the uranium that was critical to our national defense,” said Udall. “Today, we honor the miners, millers, maintenance workers, scientists, support staff, and families in New Mexico and across the country whose sacrifice has too often gone unheralded. Still to this day, too many who lost their lives and sacrificed their health for the defense of our country have been left out of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act program and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program. I will not stop fighting until all those who dedicated their lives to our nation’s nuclear weapons activities – and the many unwilling Cold War victims and their families – are fairly compensated.”

The Day of Remembrance will honor Americans who supported the nation’s nuclear weapons 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 September 23, 2020. The senators have sponsored all 12 resolutions.

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