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October 22, 1949 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1949-10-22

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A message to the alumni workers for the Phoenix Project
and all Michigan Men and Women.


THIs is no ordinary memorial.

In all the years to come, it will, of course, memorialize
men and women of Michigan who died in the war. But it is
more than an eternal reminder.


The Phoenix Project represents a job to be clone; a job those
men and women would have wanted done, perhaps above all else.
We are honoring them by taking up the greatest challenge of our
time. We are paying- tribute to their sacrifice by accepting the
momentous responsibility. Because of our efforts, men may be
better able to handle the cataclysmic force that has been turned
loose upon the world; a force that was born in the same flaming
deluge that swept away the lives of those 520 men and women.
Since we have agreed to take up this challenge, let's be sure
we understand the dimensions of the job we are about to do.
First Line for Peace
We are the first line of offense in a great peacetime battle.
One part of our job is to raise the money necessary to supply and
equip the next great division that will move in behind us - the
trained minds and technical genius required to mold atomic energy
into a constructive pillar of our civilization and to help that
civilization to adjust itself to the changes that an atomic era
will, bring.
But in a larger sense, we are not raising money, we are raising
men's hopes; we are not asking for contributions, we are asking
for cooperation in reconstructing mankind's faith in mankind.
We must never lose sight of those, very real facts.
Our job has another vitally important facet: from us and
from the unstinted enthusiasm of Michigan students must come
the original inspirational impetus without which the Phoenix
Project will not accomplish nearly as much as it should; from
us must come that all-important spark without which there can

be no real success, regardless of how much money we raise. For
money, necessary as it is, is only one measure of success in our
part of this vast undertaking.
It has been said many times that peacetime atomic research
has not made as much progress as it should have; and to the extent
that this is true, it is because that vital spark, so essential to great
achievements, has been missing. There has been money, and there
has been no lack of willing technicians. But on the other hand,
there has been no sense of urgency to achieve the impossible. That
is what we must contribute if we are to be wholly successful.
Our Biggest Job for Michigan
We have a good start. Our University has staked its reputa-
tion on its ability - our ability - to get this job done. It is
perhaps a bigger job, with more at stake, than any University has
ever before undertaken solely out of a sense of social responsibility.
And it is important that this step has been taken at* time when,
as everyone knows, the fashion is not to grasp social responsibilities,
but to avoid them.
So here we are as alumni, for the first time in history, setting
out to finance an all-University project - a job we have willingly
accepted though we know that in these times, money is likely to
come harder than ever before. There have been virtually no
refusals among the appointments of state and local chairmen and
campaign officials, because all of us know in our hearts, know by
instinct, that this is worth doing. That it may prove to be of
historical significance.
When we succeed in our part of this great task, we shall have
set up the greatest possible living memorial. Certainly, it will be
no ordinary memorial, any more than atomic energy is an ordinary
force, or that the last war was an ordinary war, or that the men
and women that Michigan lost were ordinary expendables to be
checked off and forgotten.

1 '

Michigan Memorial- Phoenix Project



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