Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Mourning for West Virginia miners
I spent the night glued to the television following the latest mine disaster in West Virginia and my heart bleeds for those families and the community. Married to a miner myself, it seems like only yesterday that we were going through the same thing with the Crandal Canyon disaster that drug on for days and then weeks while families waited to hear if their loved ones were alive, only to have them sealed in the mine finally, a tomb for the men who could not be recovered. It was this disaster that caused him to leave mining in 2008, though in the 15 years that we have been married this was the third fatal mining disaster. Russ mined for 15 years before I met him, suffering a compound leg fracture in one of the many small incidents associated with coal mining that don't make the news. He works in a related field that still takes him underground on occasion, but his risks have been greatly reduced. Mining pays well, and especially when one is a foreman, so the cut in pay was huge, but we have had no regrets. Yesterday is a tragic reminder of why, and I am filled with grief for our brothers and sisters in West Virginia.