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Wednesday
Feb142018

President Obama honored Grace Thorpe re: her resistance to nuke waste dumps...and Marjory Stoneman Douglas re: Everglades protection

Grace ThorpeFor Women's History Month in March, 2009, President Barack Obama honored Grace Thorpe (10 December 1921 – 1 April 2008, see photo, left), a Sauk and Fox and Pokagon Potawatomi Indian anti-nuclear activist, for her successful work to protect her own, and other, Native American reservations targeted for highly radioactive irradiated nuclear fuel de facto permanent surface storage parking lot dumps.

Obama's proclamation began:

With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our Nation. Each year during Women's History Month, we remember and celebrate women from all walks of life who have shaped this great Nation. This year, in accordance with the theme "Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet," we pay particular tribute to the efforts of women in preserving and protecting the environment for present and future generations...

It continued:

...Women have also taken the lead throughout our history in preserving our natural environment.

Re: Grace Thorpe, President Obama proclaimed:

Grace Thorpe, another leading environmental advocate, also connected environmental protection with human well-being by emphasizing the vulnerability of certain populations to environmental hazards. In 1992, she launched a successful campaign to organize Native Americans to oppose the storage of nuclear waste on their reservations, which she said contradicted Native American principles of stewardship of the earth. She also proposed that America invest in alternative energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar power, and wind power.

Thorpe served as a board of directors members of NIRS (Nuclear Information and Resource Service). Her primary organizational affiliation was NECONA (National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans).

See Thorpe's Wikipedia entry, to learn more about her most remarkable life. She once told Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, in summer 2002, that her motivation to fight nuclear power and radioactive waste came from her experiences in Nagasaki, Japan in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing there. As the Wiki entry relates, Thorpe won a Bronze Star for her service in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs, pronounced "wax") in World War II.

Re: Marjory Stoneman Douglas, President Obama proclaimed:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas dedicated her life to protecting and restoring the Florida Everglades. Her book, The Everglades: Rivers of Grass, published in 1947, led to the preservation of the Everglades as a National Park. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas's name appears in news headlines today, for the most dark and tragic of reasons: the high school in Parkland, FL where the shooting deaths of 17 students and teachers at the hands of a former classmate took place is named after her.

Here is a link to the full proclamation. Note that it also honors Rachel Carson of Silent Spring fame. Beyond Nuclear board of directors member Bob Musil is executive director of the Rachel Carson Council, and keeps the memory alive that Carson was both anti-nuclear weapons and anti-nuclear power, and was very ahead of the curve in that regard, too!