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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 7, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Conflicted about a memorial park at Hanford

Kathleen Flenniken’s guest column [“Make Hanford part of a Manhattan Project District national park,” Opinion, July 4] regarding the possible preservation of the Hanford Project under the auspices of the National Park Service leaves me with a profound sense of ambiguity. I affirm both the desire to forget what happened there and the need to preserve the memory of it in perpetuity.

My step-daughter had her thyroid removed at the age of 9 as her family often swam down-river from the Hanford project. I recall reading that thyroid cancer around Richland was called “the Hanford disease.”

Years ago I read John Hersey’s epic volume “Hiroshima,” the vivid account of the survivors of the first atomic bomb in history.

I recall the death of a much admired science professor in Pullman dying of radiation while seeking to uncover the mysteries of its effects.
In the ’80s l wrote a poem, “Hanford Reservations” (Washington State University Magazine, fall 2012). It expresses my concern both for our danger and our responsibility.

Let us preserve reminders of the past to warn us and prepare us for the future.

Graham Hutchins, Port Angeles

Comments | Topics: Hanford

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