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Reader: Preserving the history of Rocky Flats is paramount

"Six Feet Under," Patricia Calhoun, June 12

No Horsing Around

Thanks so much for your recent articles on Rocky Flats. Much of what was said in "Six Feet Under" really resonated with me, specifically with keeping the memory of Rocky Flats alive.

During the FBI anniversary at the Arvada Center, it was disturbing to me how few younger people were present for the panels. Plutonium will last thousands of years, and the plant's history and concerns have dissipated drastically in less than a generation. Many people who are concerned and know the truth will not be around for long. As Patricia Calhoun said, "When the workers are six feet under, their knowledge will be, too."

I thought it was really interesting how her column article ends with "There are no signs that tell you the history of the 6,500 acres just up the hill." This has been a major concern of mine, and obviously was a concern of LeRoy Moore and Wes McKinley when they proposed a consent sign for the refuge.

In 2011, when I came back to Arvada for a visit, I realized how effectively the plant had been swept from the conscience of the surrounding community. The east entrance and its sign were removed, and the only signs read "Wildlife Refuge." After that visit, I decided to design a memorial myself and try to find funding for it. I approached several places about the monument, including the Rocky Flats Cold War Museum (now Rocky Flats Institute Museum), but they've even had a hard time finding funding to build the museum.

I was discouraged for a while, but when I came back to Arvada for a visit last April, I saw the developments going up all around the plant, and I realized the urgency for a symbol. I decided it was time to design a new memorial that I could produce without having to find or wait on funding. I worked for many months and produced a sculpture that was dubbed "Cold War Horse." Here's a photo of that piece.

My original plan was to just install the sculpture at the old east entrance of the site, but after realizing the situation, it seemed likely that it would be destroyed within days and not serve any purpose. You might have seen the sculpture if you attended the anniversary event; at the moment, it's in front of the Arvada Center. It's not an easy task, but I'm searching for a permanent site for it near Rocky Flats and hope to have it up soon.

Thank you for your efforts! Know that several of us have not given up!
Jeff Gipe
Brooklyn, New York

 
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