Wish of A Lifetime – Documentary Photography of a Family visiting the Trinity Site, New Mexico and remembering husband, dad and uncle Sam Levy –

The organization ‘Wish of A Lifetime’, contacted me a few weeks ago to ask me if I would be able to create a family’s memories visiting the Trinity Site in New Mexico. The Trinity Site is the place where the first atomic bomb was tested on July 16, 1945. Jo Byrnes (90 years old) last wish was to visit the site where her former husband and dad of her daughters, Sam Levy, was with 17 years the youngest volunteer assigned to the crew that attended the explosion of the first Atomic Bomb in New Mexico.  “He was one of the 500 soldiers who camped of the perimeter of the Trinity Site and were ordered to rise and stand attention when the bomb was being prepared for detonation. Their campsite was about 9 miles out from Ground Zero, the epicenter of the explosion of the bomb. Sam Levy and the entire crew were prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice as they carried out their orders. The atomic age was born, Eureka. All men on this maneuver did survive the explosion physically.” (letter from Jo Byrnes to Wish of a Lifetime). Later, they found out that Sam Levy like many others from the crew suffered post traumatic stress disorder and many of these men died sooner than their life expectancy.
Sam Levy, Jr. gained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts at University of Denver. He was only 59 years old when he died in August 1984.
Now, almost 71 years after the Manhattan Project, Sam Levy’s wife, Jo and their daughters, Susan and Lori as well as their nice, came to the Trinity Site to understand their family background that was alway a part of their lives. Wish of A Lifetime made it possible. And I was privileged to create these memories for their family.
On April 02, 2016, many people visited the site. At 1 pm we met Jo, her daughters and her nice at ‘Ground Zero’. When we arrived at the monument, Joe and Susan were standing in front of a photograph showing the group of volunteers including Joe’s husband. They could not believe that they found a picture that was showing him at his young age of 17 years. I and Greg Easthouse, who did the videography, stayed with the family and found out many, many more interesting things about the Manhattan Project and their family. Suddenly, we were part of the story. At the McDonald Ranch, we found another image showing the group of volunteers including Sam. Everybody was overwhelmed by this dramatic story.
Thank you ‘Wish of A Lifetime’ for including me in this amazing project. And thank you to Jo and her family who welcomed us like family members. We will never forget this day.
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