WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE -- I recently watched footage of the detonation of the first atomic bomb at Trinity Site in 1945. A black and white mushroom cloud built up in slow motion. Chills and prickles crawled up my spine.
Visiting Trinity Site One week later, I visit ground zero, where a device called "The Gadget" was strapped into a 100-foot-tall steel tower and set off. Two more nuclear explosions took place over Japan after that successful test, harbingers of the end of World War II.
This all happened a long time before I was born, but I feel a strange sadness as I stand here on a hazy spring day in the middle of the Jornada del Muerto, a desert basin full of scrub and pronghorn antelope. That name translates to "day's journey of the dead." … Read more