Members of the Tularosa Downwinders were at the Trinity site off U.S. 380 again this year as it opened for the public to tour the area on White Sands Missile Range where the atomic bomb was tested for use during World War II.
Success of the Trinity test paved the way for the plutonium-based atomic bomb to be used in bombings of two japanese cities, bringing an end to the war with Japan.
The Tularosa Basin Downwinders believe this success cost some New Mexico residents their health. For 12 years, they’ve collected data, met with New Mexico senators and continued fighting for inclusion in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. They’ve watched family members die from diseases and conditions they contend are related to the bomb’s detonation on the missile range. And they’ve heard the stories of ranchers standing on their porches not understanding the spectacle they were witnessing, only to find later that the hair on their cattle and horses turned white and fell off.
Some say they believe the government is waiting until everyone affected dies off, as happened with many of the ranchers who were displaced by the project and contended they never received compensation for the property they lost.
For more information on the Tularosa Basin Downwinders, visit their website at www.trinitydownwinders.com.