Three Mile Island: 40 years later, community comes together for candlelight vigil to remember the day

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.-- Nearly two dozen people were up early on Thursday, with candles in hand on the 40th anniversary of the Three Mile Island accident, that took place on March 28, 1979.

Every year on March 28, people come out to Three Mile Island in Dauphin County to remember what took place that day. At 3:52 a.m., everyone held a moment of silence, for that was the time the accident began to occur.

People say it was a day most were not prepared for, it spread fear and small amounts of radiation across Central Pennsylvania-- especially with those in closest proximity to TMI.

Mary Stamos-Osborn, from Lower Swatara Township says she lives six in a half air miles from the plant, and that her husband actually worked on construction there before everything happened. She says she'll never forget that day, and how scared she was and for her family and neighbors.

"The second day of the accident they said to close our doors and windows, and when I heard that I got scared like you wouldn't believe because I knew something was worse than what they were saying. The Lieutenant Governor said everything was going to be OK. Then he went back on t.v. that day and said we've been lied to, the accident was more severe than we were led to believe," said Mary.

But it wasn't just locals who were there for the candlelight vigil. Norma Field, now living in Chicago, but originally from Japan says she came for the vigil for a few reasons. She said since she was 10-years-old, she's seen people impacted by radiation exposure, and she's now realizing how many Americans are victims of it too.

"I've been going to Fukushima, I have dear friends who live there, I study it, and I support people there. And I am so struck by the similarities by the people who live there and work there, they are dealing with the disaster and at the same time they can never get rid of the anxiety of exposure. It just goes on year after year after year," said Field.

Field was joined by several others who have been to, lived near, or know people impacted by Fukushima.

One of TMI's reactors experienced a partial melt down that caused thousands to evacuate that day, in Middletown and in Harrisburg. Many at the vigil said what they felt and experienced that day, they hope no one has to again.

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