Imagine you are living in a city with 75,000 other people. Each day goes by as any other— you wake up in your small, cookie-cutter style home, go to work, make small talk with those you meet throughout the day, and come home to enjoy a quaint dinner with your family. Most everything seems normal accept for one thing. As you walk down the busy sidewalk lined with small shops, your eyes drift to a large billboard on the side of the road. The billboard reads “What you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, what you leave here- let it stay here” (Secret). You know that the city you live in is not exactly like the others across the country. Sure, you are able to talk to people, but the topic of their jobs is strictly off limits. Day after day, hundreds of people walk out of large buildings within the city unable to discuss the previous hours spent within. After so much time, you have accepted this as normal and have learned not to ask questions. But something within you still feels curious about it. What are they doing in there? Why can’t I know the purpose of their work? Why, during World War II, did so many jobs open up in this one area? Is my job contributing to this secret project?
Finally, on August 6, 1945, the truth is revealed, and it is bigger than you could have ever imagined. In the midst of an absolutely horrific war, you are informed that Hiroshima has just been attacked with an atomic bomb. In that moment your heart begins racing and your breathing grows heavier. You are filled with so many questions and emotions. You are stunned. America built an atomic bomb, but how? When? Slowly you begin realizing what has happened. Within a short amount of time, you are holding a newspaper in your sweaty palms with bold letters that read, “Oak Ridge Attacks Japan” (Atomic). Everything finally begins to make sense. After three years of living this “normal” life, you are faced with the fact that you played a part in the project that changed the course of World War II. You assisted in the building of an atomic bomb and helped keep your country safe.
This is how many of the people living in Oak Ridge, The Secret City, must have felt during World War II.
The war was fought by many. Because of the brave endeavors of thousands of men and women, our red, white, and blue colors can still be seen waving proudly through the air. They sacrificed their lives for our freedom. For many, it was a choice. Our country was precious to them, and its safety was put before their own.
This weekend, help us celebrate the effort of the Secret City and honor the brave men and women that fought, and continue to fight, for our freedom. We may be a shirt company, but our respect and love for our nation’s military is first and foremost. Help us raise awareness and give back to those who have given us so much already
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