The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

April 5, 2013

UBB memorial dedication highlights today’s remembrance ceremonies

Raleigh County Courthouse lawn

BECKLEY — On today’s third anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine Explosion, the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce will honor the victims by unveiling a memorial marker placed on the Raleigh County Courthouse lawn.

A reception with remarks will be held at 2 p.m. in the former Burnside Courtroom on the second floor of the courthouse.

The marker will then be unveiled on the courthouse lawn at 3 p.m.

The memorial, which joins an historical marker remembering the Eccles Mine Disaster of 1914, will list the names of the 29 miners who perished in the explosion on April 5, 2010, as well as show appreciation to those who continue to go to work in the mines each day.

Mick Bates, chamber member and project chair, said he hopes this marker and additional landscaping will help the community acknowledge the event, heal and move forward.

Bates said dignitaries have been invited to attend the unveiling.

The Raleigh County Courthouse UBB Miners Memorial Marker has been funded through a partnership between the chamber of commerce, the Raleigh County Commission and a state grant.

- - -

For the first year since the disaster, there will not be an official ceremony held in Whitesville; however, The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group will be placing a wreath near the miner’s monument this morning and invites the public to visit the memorial today to reflect and pay respect in their own way.

Mike Gwinn, vice president of the group, said they decided not to obligate the family of the fallen miners to participate in a formal ceremony this year. Instead, he hopes the families and the community will use the monument as it is intended — for individuals and groups to pay respect, reflect, and pray as each sees fit.

The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group released the following statement: “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. May God bless the families of the men taken from us at Upper Big Branch and the West Virginia coal miner, our state’s greatest resource.”

The group also stated, “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.

“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. 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.”

Information about the miners and the memorial can be viewed at the UBB Miners Memorial website, www.ubbminersmemorial.com.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • rock VIdeo: Experts dislodge precariously perched remnant of a rockslide

    A highly-trained crew in climbing gear hoisted chainsaws and other specialized equipment high above the road in Hinton Tuesday morning to remove a boulder that hung precariously above a busy intersection.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Preliminary hearing set for Bluefield ‘warlock’

    A Bluefield man who police say used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him remains incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges.

    April 23, 2014

  • New River Gorge fire still burning

    Firefighters are still trying to control the fire at Fern Creek along the Endless Wall area of the New River Gorge, according to a press release from the National Park Service on Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • fff Experts help growing entrepreneurs

    John Yates wants to grow potatoes to supply Monroe County schools.
    He’s got a business plan, he can get the equipment and 3 tons of seed potatoes. The land for lease in Sweet Springs is farther from his Ballard home than he’d like, but with a little help, the active duty Army staff sergeant and his sister Rebecca are ready to begin.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rahall calls meeting on W.Va.’s drug problem

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall says he has arranged a roundtable discussion with federal and West Virginia officials on the state’s prescription drug abuse and trafficking problems.

    April 23, 2014

  • Arch Coal reports wider 1Q loss

    Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its first-quarter loss widened as weaker prices and demand cut into its margins, prompting the mine operator to shave its outlook for shipments of coal used in making steel.

    April 22, 2014

  • Former Concord University police officer sentenced on sex charge involving juvenile

    A former Concord University police officer was sentenced Tuesday to a term of 10 to 20 years in prison on a single count of sexual abuse by a parent or custodian.

    April 22, 2014

  • Bly6bH3CYAA6Xdl.jpg-large.jpeg UPDATE: Ill. crew helps fight New River Gorge fire

    An Illinois-based firefighting crew has joined the effort to contain a wildfire in the New River Gorge National River.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thunderstorms, showers heading our way

    Today’s forecast lurches us a little further toward real spring weather, with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible after 2 p.m.

    April 22, 2014

  • State spring gobbler season to open next week

    The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says spring gobbler season will open Monday and run through May 24.

    April 22, 2014