April 05, 2011

West Virginia Delegation Honors Fallen Miners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today joined members of the House and Senate Congressional delegation and introduced a resolution in honor of the 29 miners who perished at the Upper Big Branch mine in April of last year.

“I am honored to join my West Virginia colleagues in calling upon the United States Congress to pay tribute to the lost lives at the Upper Big Branch mine. Today’s anniversary is an important time to reflect on the 29 men who went into work that day and never returned.  The community and families displayed awe-inspiring strength in the face of an unspeakable tragedy.  We also pause to express our gratitude to the first responders and mine rescue teams who dedicated themselves to search and recovery efforts for five hard and emotional days.  Nothing keeps me up at night more, or inspires greater effort, than my desire to see this nation adopt strong and thorough new laws and regulations that will make mining safer.”

“It seems unbelievable that one year has already passed since the terrible day last April when 29 courageous and patriotic miners lost their lives in the tragedy at Upper Big Branch,” Senator Manchin said. “I want their families to know that our hearts are still broken, and we have not forgotten their sacrifice. We have done – and will continue to do – all that we can to improve mine safety to ensure that an accident like this one never happens again. West Virginia coal miners are the backbone of this country, providing the steel and machinery that built our country into the greatest industrial power in the world, the military that keeps us safe and free and energy for homes and businesses all over this country. The miners of West Virginia and their families are the heart and soul of our state and an inspiration to me, and we should all draw strength and courage from theirs.”

“April  5, 2010, is a date that the Congress and the Nation should never forget; on that date, we needlessly lost 29 good men – hardworking miners whose lives were cut short in a preventable mine disaster.   This anniversary should spur a renewed commitment by this Congress to those men and to their families to do everything within our power to ensure that no other miners and no other miners’ families suffer the kind of loss that they have had to endure.  We owe an extended commitment, as well, to our first responders and mine rescue teams who serve without fail,” said U.S. Representative Nick Rahall.   

“For generations, our friends and family have worked in the mines, and we take great pride in knowing that their hard work helps power America.  When tragedy strikes and miners are killed, it truly affects us all. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the 29 miners killed after the explosion at UBB one year ago today. Mining is a tough and often dangerous profession; I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the safest work environment possible,” said Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.

“Joining the other members of our state delegation in honoring the 29 dedicated miners through this resolution is a true honor,” said McKinley. “It is hard to fathom losing so many decent and hard-working men at one time. This brave group of miners and the heroic actions of all the rescue workers leave an inspiring legacy that serves as an example of what we can accomplish if we put our hearts and minds together as a team. April 5, 2010 has forever changed the families of these miners’ families and all West Virginians. It is only right to honor their sacrifices, and to help keep their memories alive.”

To view a copy of the resolution, please click HERE.

Senator Rockefeller introduced S. Res. 129 in the Senate and Congressman Rahall introduced H. Res. 199 in the House of Representatives.