A statue of a horse wearing a hazmat suit with goggles was toppled and smashed, apparently with a sledgehammer, a couple of weeks after it was installed near the former Rocky Flats plutonium trigger plant outside Denver last August. The sculpture was was meant to be a visible symbol of the danger that Rocky Flats workers faced in the decades before the plant’s closure in the 1990s, after an unprecedented FBI raid on the facility. The statue was repaired and re-installed in time for a dedication ceremony October 18 featuring the FBI agent who led the raid, and Kristen Iversen, the author of “Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats”;
This week on Tell Somebody we’ll hear from Kristen Iversen, and from the sculptor, Jeff Gipe.
Jeff Gipe grew up in Arvada, 4 miles from the weapons plant. His father worked at the plant for 20 years. In creating the memorial Jeff wanted to see a symbol that acknowledges the workers’ sacrifices and informs nearby residents about the history and present concerns of Rocky Flats.