LANSING, Mich., June 5, 2018 — Today Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D–Taylor) introduced a bill to honor Michigan’s atomic veterans for their sacrifice and service to the state and nation.

Senate Bill 1053 would declare July 16th of each year as Atomic Veterans Day in Michigan.

“Atomic veterans were subjected to an unusual risk, and deserve our respect and gratitude,” Sen. Hopgood said. “This resolution reflects pride in Michigan’s history, and honors veterans for their commitment to this country.”

On July 16, 1945, as a result of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. conducted the first detonation of a nuclear device in New Mexico, also known as the Trinity nuclear test. Between 1945 and 1962, more than 200,000 American service members, including those from Michigan, participated in these aboveground nuclear tests. They also served with the U.S. military occupation forces or were held as prisoners of war in or near Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

“Secrecy laws and oaths prevented many veterans from seeking medical care or disability compensation as a result of the radiation exposure,” Sen. Hopgood said. “This legislation brings a permanent awareness to an issue that has been hidden for so many decades.”