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Monday, May 28, 2012

Park Designation Cheapens Places?

A recent op-ed in the Oregonian claims that raising Mount St. Helens to a national park would cheapen the memories of those killed during the 1980 eruption.  According to the op-ed Mount St. Helens is a place of "tremendous sorrow and astounding rebirth."  Making the volcano a national park would cheapen the area by possibly "loving it death."
By this logic any tomb or place of mass death would be barred from ever becoming part of the national park system.  Unfortunately, this would mean national parks such as Grant's tomb, the flight 93 memorial, or the USS Arizona would never have been established.  The national park service for nearly 100 years has preserved and appropriately memorialized sites such as these, all while welcoming millions of visitors.

The National Park Service would bring the same level of professionalism to Mount St. Helens.

What are your thoughts on whether designating Mount St. Helens a national park would cheapen the place.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Nuclear Park?

Congress is considering making the Hanford B reactor, as well as sites in Los Alamos, NM and Oak Ridge, TN as part of a Manhattan Project National Park.  Recently, concerned citizens, elected officials, government officials, and business owners met in Richland to discuss the park including how the Park Service might interpret this controversial subject. 

America's ushering in of the atomic age and the dropping of the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a story that produces strong emotions.  Many are opposed to the sites being added to the park system and rather than being commemorated believe the sites should be destroyed and forgotten.  But one of the United States' strongest qualities is our willingness to confront controversial subjects.  Some of our darkest chapters in history are told and preserved in the national park system.  For example, the Park Service protects sites where Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, or the site of American Indian massacres or civil rights riots. 

America grows stronger when it confronts controversial subjects and invites all sides to share their views.  The Manhattan Project National Historical Park will be another in a long line of thought provoking parks

What are your thoughts?

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