National Atomic Veterans Day, 2021

CourtExecutive Office Of The President
Citation86 FR 38207
Publication Date20 Jul 2021
Record Number2021-15520
Presidential Documents
38207
Federal Register
Vol. 86, No. 136
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Title 3—
The President
Proclamation 10232 of July 15, 2021
National Atomic Veterans Day, 2021
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
On July 16, 1945, the United States detonated the world’s first nuclear
device in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Better known by its code name, ‘‘Trin-
ity,’’ the successful test of the first atomic bomb brought forth a new age
of science that changed the lives of many of those who served in our
Armed Forces, and forever altered the nature and the risks of war. Just
weeks later, the world witnessed the horrors of nuclear destruction at Hiro-
shima and Nagasaki, which marked the end of World War II but opened
our eyes to the truth that a nuclear war must never be fought.
Many brave men and women have risked their lives in service to our
Nation, but few know the story of our ‘‘Atomic Veterans’’—American military
service members who participated in nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962,
served with United States military forces in or around Hiroshima and Naga-
saki through mid-1946, or were held as prisoners of war in or near Hiroshima
or Nagasaki. These veterans served at testing sites like the Bikini Atoll
and witnessed the destructive power of nuclear weapons firsthand. On Na-
tional Atomic Veterans Day, we recognize and honor the contributions of
America’s Atomic Veterans for their sacrifice and dedication to our Nation’s
security, and recommit to supporting our Atomic Veterans and educating
ourselves on the role these patriots played in our national story.
Atomic Veterans served our Nation with distinction, but their service came
at a great cost. Many developed health conditions due to radiation exposure,
yet because they were not able to discuss the nature of their service, they
were unable to seek medical care or disability compensation from the Depart-
ment of Veterans Affairs for their illnesses. Decades later in 1996, the United
States Congress repealed the Nuclear Radiation and Secrecy Agreements
Act, allowing Atomic Veterans to tell their stories and file for benefits.
By then, thousands of Atomic Veterans had died without their families
knowing the true extent of their service.
Our Nation has one truly sacred obligation: to properly prepare and equip
our troops when we send them into harm’s way, and to care for them
and their families when they return from service. As Commander in Chief,
I am committed to fulfilling our obligation to the Atomic Veterans and
their families, and ensuring that all of our Nation’s veterans have timely
access to needed services, medical care, and benefits.
On this National Atomic Veterans Day, our country remembers the service
and sacrifices of Atomic Veterans. Their heroism and patriotism will never
be forgotten and we always honor their bravery and devotion to duty.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 16, 2021, as
National Atomic Veterans Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this
day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our Nation’s
Atomic Veterans whose brave service and sacrifice played an important
role in the defense of our Nation.
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38208
Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 136 / Tuesday, July 20, 2021 / Presidential Documents
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day
of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-
sixth.
[FR Doc. 2021–15520
Filed 7–19–21; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3295–F1–P
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