Interfaith Remembrance Of The Trinity Site Set For Sunday In Santa Fe


To commemorate the anniversary of the first detonation of an atomic weapon in 1945 at the nearby Trinity Test Site, the complete elimination of nuclear weapons must be prioritized. “From Reflection to Action: An Interfaith Remembrance of the Trinity Test” will be held at the Santa Maria de la Paz Community Hall in Santa Fe, NM, featuring music, speakers, exhibitions, and moments of reflection and prayer. The free public event is Sunday, July 16, 2023, from 4 – 6 p.m; doors open at 3:15 p.m. Pre-registration is encouraged, and the event will be live-streamed.

Among the scheduled speakers is Most Reverend John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe.

“We can no longer deny or ignore the extremely dangerous predicament of our human family,” says Wester. “We are in a new nuclear arms race far more dangerous than the first, and I believe we need to rejuvenate a sustained, serious conversation about universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament.”

Additional speakers, include Rev. Talitha Arnold, Pastor, United Church of Santa Fe; Valerie Forstman, Guiding Teacher, Mountain Cloud Zen Center; and Dr. Mary Hasbah Roessel, Diné/Navajo Psychiatrist and Creation Activist. The musicians include Quiara Cortez, John Patrick Funk, and Paul Pino.

Archbishop Wester’s call is made more urgent by President of Russia Vladimir Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling over Ukraine and the failure of nuclear weapons powers to honor the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty’s mandate to enter serious negotiations leading to disarmament. Currently, existing nuclear weapons powers are modernizing their arsenals to keep nuclear weapons forever. New Mexico is at the center of the U.S. government’s $1.7 trillion modernization plan, specifically with the expanded production of plutonium pit bomb cores at the Los Alamos Lab and disposal of resulting radioactive wastes at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.

The communities downwind of the Trinity Test blast saw a spike in infant deaths in the months after the explosion and, generations later, continue to suffer its effects.

“We don’t ask IF we’ll get cancer, we ask WHEN it will be our turn,” says Tina Cordova, event co-organizer and founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. “The government basically walked away from the people of New Mexico and has taken no responsibility for all the sacrifice, suffering, and the dying.

”Attendees will learn about actions they can take toward a world without nuclear weapons, such as calling on members of Congress to co-sponsor H.Res.77, “Embracing the Goals and Provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” and joining forces with the grassroots Back from the Brink coalition to spur cities, towns, and counties across New Mexico to adopt resolutions urging the United States to prioritize negotiations with the other eight nuclear-armed states toward the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, and extend and expand victim assistance and environmental remediation related to local nuclear weapons activities.

The event is organized by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Soka Gakkai International-USA, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, and United Church of Santa Fe. For more information, call the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s Office of Social Justice at 505.831.8205.

Pre-register: stream: