Letter: Manhattan Project National Park a worthy endeavor

July 10, 2013 

Washington is home to extraordinary natural wonders such as the North Cascades and Mt. Rainier National Parks, but also to exceptional moments in history, such as represented by the Manhattan Project site at Hanford. That's why it's worthy to include this place in the National Park System, as recommended by the Tri-City Herald editorial board.

Hanford and other historic facilities involved in the development of America's first nuclear weapon would be designated as a National Historic Park by pending legislation, which has bipartisan support from Washington's congressional delegation.

The Manhattan Project is not without controversy and consequences, but is surely a turning point in our country's history. America depends on the National Park Service to preserve sites like this and to tell these stories so we never forget our history and the people who made it.

As regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association, I'd like to thank U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings and Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for sponsoring the bill to create the Manhattan Project National Historic Site. The National Park Service, as the chronicler of the American experience, is the right agency to entrust with this site as a way of preserving our shared history and providing educational opportunities for the public.

ROB SMITH, Seattle

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