WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, New Mexico -- First, the Bataan Memorial Death March. And now, the open house at the Trinity Site.
Because of concerns over the coronavirus, White Sands Missile Range has now canceled its two biggest public events of the year.
The Bataan Memorial Death March was scheduled for earlier this month and had attracted 10,000 registered marchers, the most in the 31-year history of the event before it was cancelled.
Now, the installation has canceled its open house at the Trinity Site, scheduled for April 4.
The Trinity Site is where the first atomic bomb was tested at at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, as part of the Manhattan Project.
A flash of light could be seen as far away as El Paso and the blast rattled houses in Gallup, along the New Mexico-Arizona border.
The successful test ushered in the Atomic Age. Two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in August, 1945, ending the world's most deadly conflict.
“The Trinity Site Open Houses are an important part of our WSMR heritage that we are honored to share with an enthusiastic public. We know how much this means to so many people to visit the open houses, and it is with deep regret to cancel the event.” said Col. David Trybula, WSMR commander.
The decision to cancel the open house follows the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cancel large gatherings people to minimize the threat of the virus spreading.
About 5,000 people were expected to attend the open house in April.
The next time the site will be open to the public will be Oct. 3.
The Trinity Site is at the extreme northern end of White Sands Missile Range, south of Socorro in New Mexico.