Remembering Rocky Flats

 

Regarding your story "The Half-life of Memory," I had the pleasure of serving on the Rocky Flats Citizens Advisory Board (RFCAB), and in 2000 we had the chance to tour Building 771 (HCN, 2/16/09). The DOE considered 771 to be the most dangerous building in America. The opportunity to walk through a building that was essentially a nuclear ghost town in and of itself was a fascinating look into a facility that I grew up downwind from for 25 years. It really emphasized the dire need to demolish and clean up Rocky Flats.

It's unfortunate that your article didn't mention RFCAB. There were many dedicated people on that board who were more passionate about seeing Rocky Flats cleaned up than it seemed the feds themselves were. RFCAB, I thought, did much in getting the state and federal agencies to see the bigger picture of what Rocky Flats was and would become. I remember the heated discussions about how "clean" clean could be. What I find most unfortunate is that so many people are willing to forget what happened at Rocky Flats and all the ordinary people who made the plant and subsequent cleanup possible.

Perhaps a memorial marker and interpretive center at the Wildlife Refuge could best guarantee the long-term memories of Rocky Flats continue, instead of an off-site museum disconnected from the contaminated grounds of Rocky Flats.

Bill Petersen

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