Commemoration Events of Trinity Atomic Bomb Test and Church Rock Uranium Tailings Spill Set for Saturday, July 16th in Tularosa and Church Rock, New Mexico

Members of Queer Advocacy Network join with St. Paul's Church of Christ Thursday evening for a candlelight vigil. Andy Carpenean/Boomerang photographer

play3In the early morning of July 16, 1945, the U.S. government detonated the first atomic bomb from a 100-foot metal structure in the south central desert of New Mexico.  In the massive explosion, the radiation and toxic materials rose an estimated 70,000 feet and began to fall back to earth in what many thought was snow.  The kids played in it, the cattle and vegetable gardens were covered in it.  Later that night when it rained, the water cisterns and acequias were contaminated with radioactive and toxic particles.

The innocent people of the Tularosa Basin were not informed beforehand and were not evacuated after the test, even though the exposures were at least 10,000 times higher than what is considered safe today.  Cancer rates in the Tularosa Basin are four to eight times higher than the national average.

For more information, please see Chapter 10, “The Trinity Test” of the 2010 Los Alamos Historical Document Retrieval and Assessment report at 

To memorialize those who have died and to honor those who are living with or who have survived cancer, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, in cooperation with the Village of Tularosa, will host the Seventh Annual Candlelight Vigil on Saturday, July 16th from 8 to 10 pm at the Tularosa Little League Field, on La Luz Avenue, west of the Tularosa High School.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Luminarias will be available for a small donation beginning at 7:30 pm.  July 16, 2016 event flyer

For more information, please contact Tina Cordova at 505 897-6787.

300px-Church_Rock_uranium_mill_tailings_dam_breachOn July 16th, 1979, an earthen uranium tailings dam at the United Nuclear Corporation Church Rock Uranium Mill failed, spilling 93 million gallons of liquid toxic waste into the Rio Puerco in New Mexico, which eventually flowed downstream into Arizona.  The spill contributed to the long-term contamination already present in the watershed from the release of untreated or poorly treated uranium mine water into the Rio Puerco.

The Red Water Pond Road Community Association and partners are very concerned about the uranium contamination legacy, which has poisoned our Mother Earth, and they are working to ensure clean-up at three Superfund sites.

On Saturday, July 16th, the Red Water Pond Road Community Association will host 37th commemoration of the North East Church Rock Uranium Tailings Spill from 7 am to 3 pm, located 12 miles north of Red Rock State Park on State Highway 566.  The public is cordially invited to attend.

The organizers invite you to “Please join the community on this journey to heal our Dine and Mother Earth and restore the Hozho’.  We believe we need to support one another and cherish all our families and communities, just as our elders have.  By working together, with our combined intelligence and wisdom we can and are addressing this legacy to provide a life of balance and harmony for our people now and for the future generations.  Thank you to the leaders who passed the Dine Natural Resources Act in 2005, and all who have been fighting for justice in the natural environment realm, especially the grass-roots organizations.

“This historic event is open to all ages and will share the struggles people face in their daily lives, the healing yet to come for our people and Mother Earth, and the awareness and education required in the local area, tribally, statewide and on the national level. We would like the younger generation to be present, advocate and carry on these traditions of caring for Mother Earth.

“It is said that The Four Sacred Mountains say to us,

‘My child I will feed you, give you good health, and I will give you strength and courage.  My child I will give you clean air and clean water to drink. I am your Life.  My child, get ready now and educate yourself.  Improve yourself and don’t forget who you are. My child what I am dressed with, is what you are dressed with.  I am your home and your mother and father.’

“Let us come together again and share these issues and concerns, collaborate and strategize, to push clean-up of these contaminated environments among our Dine people to restore, preserve and protect our Mother Earth.”

For more information, please contact Edith at 505-905-8051, Grace at 505-905-7010, Annie at 505-905-5721, or Terri/Peterson at 505-905-2731.  Please also visit


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  • […] 2 “Commemoration Events of Trinity Atomic Bomb Test and Church Rock Uranium Tailings Spill Set for Saturday, July 16 in Tularosa and Church Rock, New Mexico,” Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, July 10, 2016. Retrieved from… […]

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