Y-12 presented with joint resolution honoring 70th anniversary

Posted: September 24, 2015 - 11:17am

A copy of a joint resolution in the Tennessee legislature, commemorating the Y‑12 National Security Complex’s 70th anniversary, will reside in the New Hope Center. The resolution was presented to Y-12 historian Ray Smith at an Aug. 29 event in Oak Ridge.

Tennessee state Sen. Randy McNally and state Rep. John Ragan presented the framed resolution to Smith before a showing of the 1947 movie “The Beginning or the End” at the historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge. The movie was the first shown at the theater in 1947 and was immortalized in a famous Ed Westcott photo.

The resolution was passed May 9, 2013, and reads, in part: “We hereby honor and congratulate the Y‑12 National Security Complex upon its seventieth anniversary and express our gratitude to this facility for its positive impact upon local governments, the citizens of this great State and the world.”

McNally said it was “particularly appropriate that we formally present this resolution today as we reflect on the importance of Y‑12’s contribution to ending World War II. Y‑12’s job during the war was to separate uranium235 from natural uranium, a task so difficult that many experts thought it was impossible or that it might take decades to achieve. Despite the difficulty, the mission was accomplished in two and a half years by tens of thousands of Manhattan Project workers, the Corps of Engineers and a topflight scientific team. Y‑12’s success was critical in ending one of the most destructive wars in our history.”

The resolution is signed by McNally, state Sen. Ken Yager, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and Gov. Bill Haslam.

“This event is the perfect occasion to pause and remember the importance of Y‑12 in ending World War II and serving as a gateway for international peace,” Ragan said.

Smith accepted the resolution on behalf of the many Y‑12 workers over the years who helped support our nation during the Cold War and expressed his thankfulness that we have not had another global conflict in 70 years.