Desert Walk #1: Las Vegas's Atomic Museum
Towards the end of World War II – my country detonated atomic bombs over Japanese cities, immediately killing thousands of civilians and thousand more soon after and maiming thousands for the rest of their lives.
I was born in 1949 -- My generation was taught that this military action was required to end the war – And I bought it --
Since 1945, our world has filled with more powerful atom bombs – -- in the hope that the threat of mutual destruction will dissuade their usage.
So far – besides Nagasaki and Hiroshima – we have been lucky – but for how long?
I am Alan Winson – this year for Passover – I walked with peace activists of the Nevada Desert Experience, from Las Vegas to Creech Air Force Base – the center of U.S drone warfare – and then to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site –where -- until the early 1990s, my country detonated over 1000 atom bombs. The craters that were left have been used to train astronauts navigating the lifeless terrain of the Moon.
I wanted to learn why-- for the past 40 years -- people of various beliefs and ethnicities gathered in Las Vegas, to walk the 60 miles to the entrance of the Nevada Nuclear Test Site where armed military stopped them at a broad white line in the road -- why each year they went to plead for an end to nuclear armament – when the need is so dire and change so impossible.
For the first program in this 8-part series I talked with Joseph Kent -- curator of the Atomic Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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