Fred Pace, EDITOR
April 5, 2013
WHITESVILLE Today marks the third anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion that claimed the lives of 29 coal miners.
A wreath was placed at the UBB Miners Monument to commemorate the men who were taken from their friends and families in a terrible explosion on that day three years ago, April 5, 2010.
The memorial is located at 38223 Coal River Road in Whitesville.
Organizers said that instead of a large ceremony this year the memorial group encourages you to visit the memorial on your own time to reflect and pay respects to those lost in your own way.
This morning we laid wreaths near the miners monument on the UBB Memorial Plaza in Whitesville, Instead of a public ceremony to mark the third anniversary of the disaster, we encourage the public to visit the memorial on their own time today to remember the men lost and reflect on that days events in their own way, according to a prepared statement from the Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group, Inc.
There was no formal placement ceremony planned.
Today our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the men lost at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine three years ago, the survivors and their families who face a difficult road to recovery in the years to come and the many people in our community still struggling to cope with the enormity of the disaster, the group said in its news release. We offer our most sincere thanks and appreciation to the dedicated first responders and mine rescue teams that rushed from near and far to aid the fallen miners and to the thousands of people who donated to multiple relief efforts to support the families immediately after the disaster.
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will honor the memory of the 29 miners who lost their lives in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010 by observing a moment of silence at 3:01 p.m., Friday, April 5, 2013. Gov. Tomblin asks all West Virginians to join him in this observance.
The Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial is dedicated to 29 miners who lost their lives in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine on April 5th, 2010, to the first responders and mine rescuers that put themselves in harm's way to come to the aid of their fellow man and to all individuals who have suffered injury, illness or death as a result of working in the coal industry.
This striking memorial symbolizes strength. Strength of those brave men, the strength of their families and the unwavering strength of this community. This memorial stands as a reminder... a reminder of what we lost, the love we shared for our fallen brothers, as a reminder that life is often too short and as a reminder that we must always put safety first. This memorial stands for all of us- to help heal, to reflect and to never forget, said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), during the UBB Miners Memorial Dedication last year on July 27, 2012.
We are encouraged by the recent news that mine safety legislation in Washington, which would address the failures that led to the UBB disaster, is being reworked and proposed again this year after past attempts in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group added in their statement. We remind the West Virginia state delegation of the content of their speeches at the UBB Memorial Dedication last July and urge them to work diligently to follow through on those words. May God bless the families of the men taken from us at Upper Big Branch and the West Virginia coal miner, our states greatest resource.