It’s natural upon completing a journey to look back and reflect. I started on the Neutron Trail in New Mexico, USA where the first atomic bombs were built and tested. Along the way I visited many of the sites most associated with our shared nuclear legacy. I completed my trek 5 years later in 2014 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan where I met atomic bomb survivors and offered prayers. But the Neutron Trail is more than a physical path, it’s a place of discovery inside, where you can learn through dialogue about the value systems that drive us to make the choices we do.
There are many people to thank. Without you, the Neutron Trail journey would not have been.
To my ancestors — Enrico and Laura Fermi, my grandparents; their daughter, my mom Nella Fermi Weiner; and my dad Milton.
To my family, friends, colleagues and mentors for all your feedback, encouragement and quickening me on the Trail: Joan Balmer, Morag Benepe, Roberto Vergara Caffarelli, Giorgio Capon, Tina Cordova, Diana Claire Douglas, Lilla Fano, Rachel Fermi, Jerome I. Friedman, Robert W. Fuller, Marthalie Furber, Karen Henrich, Christie Henry, Joseph Hung, Stephen Imbler, Matthew Day Jackson, Yumi Kanazaki, Sheri Kotowski, Peter Lax, Liz Lerman, Hisako Morioka, Marian Naranjo, Steve McCurry, John O’Brian, Yukiko Onley, Diane Park, Amy Kiara Ruth, Jay Samwald, Brian Schwartz, Tim Sullivan, Bert Terpstra, Noriko Nasu Tidball, David Unterman, Eva Waldauf, Paul Weiner.
To the organizations who have provided unique resources and incentive to develop the Neutron Trail talks and workshop: ARPICO, CREHST, Delta High School, National Science Foundation, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
To my webmasters past and present: Brian Boyne, Jerry Wang.
And a very special thanks to a few people also listed above. Rachel Fermi, Joan Balmer and Matthew Day Jackson for being the first to spark me onto what became my Neutron Trail Journey. To my brother Paul Weiner and Joan Balmer who have been with me in the background as advisors encouraging me with their fine feedback the whole way. To David Unterman who accompanied me to Rome in 2001 for Enrico’s centenary and who kindly helped me polish that first speech, along the way reminding me to use humour and to be thematically consistent.
To Marian Naranjo, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, Tina Cordova, Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, and the folks I met on my visits to Los Alamos and Tularosa, NM (2009, 2010) whose communities have made terrible sacrifices simply because they happen(ed) to be in the backyard of the nuclear weapons facilities that tested and continue to work with highly toxic radioactive substances related to nuclear weapons maintenance and development. Your courage, strength, intelligence and persistence to be in dialogue with all the stakeholders touches me deeply and reminds me how important it is to passionately pursue with integrity a better, safer way for us to all live together.
To Diane Park who so generously volunteered her time, her creativity and her sparkling wit to the Neutron Trail Europe 2011 Tour – acting as my wardrobe consultant, practice coach, videographer and chauffeur. We visited and Diane made a CERN video. Together in Rome we made a delightful little film at Via Panisperna, Enrico’s old lab and I gave a TEDx talk at the MAXXI Museum.
To my photographer friends Noriko Nasu Tidball and Stephen Imbler for accompanying me on the last leg of my Neutron Trail journey to Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan (2014). Noriko hosted us at her home in Susami, Wakayama and brought me gently into her native prayer culture.
To Matthew Day Jackson for hosting me on my first visits to Los Alamos and Trinity and for a very delightful game of squash in honor of my grandfather’s nuclear experiment in a squash court. After meeting Matt, who plays with paradigms through his conceptual art pieces, the name Neutron Trail came to me. I realized I was at the beginning of a multi-dimensional journey to meet the people most impacted by our shared nuclear legacy and to deepen my understanding of the paradigms that brought us to where we are today. Through engaging in conversations with folks of widely varying life circumstances and viewpoints I grew into a place of heart mind integration.
To everyone who I have neglected to list who walks the Neutron Trail out of curiosity and love for our future.
And to those who prefer no public credit [ ].
With gratitude to you all. Let’s keep trekking and do stay in touch!