The site where the first atomic bomb exploded is open to visitors on the first Saturday of April and October. It is called Trinity Site. We visited yesterday for the first time. On my first trip to Japan I visited Hiroshima, the site of the second atom bomb explosion. The Japanese have built a Peace Museum there. The headlines from an American newspaper the day after Hiroshima are posted as an exhibit at Trinity. When I read the lead to the story, I remembered the suffering this type of device incurred on humanity. It is hard to remember but we must.
The area around Trinity Site is still used by the US Army as a testing range. The White Sands Missile Range extends all the way from middle New Mexico to the southern borderlands where Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico meet around El Paso. When you enter the security guards check your identification and then you drive in about 30 miles into the base to a large parking area on the desert floor. From there you walk to the Trinity Site. It was good to be amongst the people and hear everyone’s voices. We were surprised by the large crowds.
It is amazing how resilient nature is. The desert looks normal around the first ground zero. In Hiroshima there is a thriving city. It was heartening to visit here with people, talk, walk together, and listen to stories. Looking around the desert and mountains of New Mexico are so vast they seem to absorb it all. The blast was big but it was enveloped by a larger presence. This earth, the human story. It is hard to imagine what we can do with this knowledge, but let it be good.