Remembering the Manhattan Project

In March,1983 I was a member of the Santa Fe NM coalition  for peace.  That year was the 40th anniversary of the founding of the “Manhattan Project” at Los Alamos, NM,  which  resulted in the atomic bomb development and deployment on August 6th and 9th, 1945. The Los Alamos national lab convened a very large and well publicized event and many of the original scientists, including, as I remember, Dr. Edward Teller (of H-bomb fame). The regional pacifist and anti-nuclear groups joined and organized  a counter-rally, with a relay of a Peace Torch from the sacred healing site at Chimayo, NM, with prayers and Mass led by the Archbishop, up the 20 or so miles to Los Alamos. There in the central park of that city we held a peaceful rally of our own, with speakers, prayers and exhortations.   The “Santa Fe New Mexican” newspaper carried our rally, and their reporter happened to take a picture of a young father carrying his young daughter on his shoulders.  The reporter got his comments in support of peace, then asked for his name. “Peter Oppenheimer” came the reply. Yes, the very son of Robert Oppenheimer, lead scientist and director of the Manhattan Project. I was always struck by the gain in wisdom over 40 years!

Deacon Greg Gehred, St. Therese Little Flower, South Bend