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TEARS FOR THE FAMILIES AND SOME HOPE

Updated on September 24, 2010

WEST VIRGINIA MINE DISASTER

I awoke from a nap yesterday evening, April 5,2010, and turned on Fox News channel to hear another mine explosion had occurred in my native state of West Virginia. My heart leapt into my throat. The first thing I thought of was my son-in-law who works as an electrical engineer in a local coal mine. I thought of my daughter and my grandchildren and the fun we had just had together on Easter Sunday.

I usually get up from a nap and stay quite sleepy for a period of time but my full attention was immediate. I watched intently to find out exactly where this disaster had occurred. I finally found out it was down state southwest of Charleston about 200 miles away.

Once I caught my bearing and relief had set in I realized that many fellow West Virginians would be in mourning for lost loved ones.

 

25 DEAD AND 4 MISSING

 

This is a scene I have seen play out entirely too often in my lifetime in my home state. Once again folks will be mourning brothers, fathers, sons, and neighbors. There will be memorial services for those lost in the blast and the search goes on for four possible survivors. At this time finding survivors is a long shot but we have to try and pray.

 

I realized that just three days ago most of these men were watching the Mountaineer game same as I was, and now they’re gone forever. They had probably celebrated Easter with their families just as I had done. They drove on country roads all their lives. They cared for their families and were just trying to survive working in a coal mine.

 

A quote from an article on AOL, ”Around 3PM Monday a massive explosion rocked Massy Energy Company’s sprawling Upper Big Branch Mine near Montcoal about 30 miles south of West Virginia’s capital, Charleston. The mine has a history of safety violations.”

 

I have heard this story entirely too many times before in my life.

WHAT’S LEFT TO DO?

Like all West Virginians before us we’ll bury our dead comfort their survivors and pray for the missing. We’re a hardy breed and we’ll survive and come back strong again.

Dear God in Heaven I pray for the souls of my lost brother West Virginians. Please give them peace.

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    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Ictodd1947,

      It's something my fellow West Virginians live through all too often. We'll pick ourselves up due to our faith in God and the world to be.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 

      8 years ago from USA

      Tom this is so sad and I can only pray for their comfort and for the hurt they feel. We do not understand and never will as to why. I am sure there is not a perfect reason for the families. Thank you for sharing this story as I know that since you are close to it, you feel the pain more than others. God Bless.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Sheri,

      Mining is a way of life not just a way of making a living for so many in our state it's always a possibility that something horrid can happen. We just have to dust ourselfs off and keep on going with the help of God.

    • SheriSapp profile image

      SheriSapp 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      Tom,

      As a fellow West Virginian, I truly do know this feeling all too well. My neighbor--who has a wife and a 10 month old child--works as a miner. The place he works is about 10 miles from the disaster site. My very sad thoughts go out to the miners and their families.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Tom,

      When I listened to your song early this morning their situation really hit home. I forwarded this whole hub to Governor Manchin. I told him to use it if it will help.

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Our prayers are with the miners and their families who suffered such a great loss. May they all be comforted and blessed with peace.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      singlemomat52,

      Thank you for your kind comments. These families need all of our support and I am greatful for yours.

    • singlmomat52 profile image

      singlmomat52 

      8 years ago

      My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy. Your tribute to coal miners is admirable. Great Hub. Thank you so much for sharing! God bless!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Pamela,

      Thank you for your very kind words. The miners I've met are a very dedicated and patriotic group. They are also very God fearing people.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago

      Tom, My heart goes out to all affected by this accident. I watched in on the news today and it is just heartbreaking. I pray for all those who lost loved ones and are in so much pain right now. You wrote a very touching hub.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      thevoice,

      Thank you for your kind sentiments!!!!

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 

      8 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific first rate hub write God speed prayers for all thanks

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      sheila b.

      I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. I remember back in 1966 we had a pilot plant here in Moundsville making gasoline out of coal for 11 cents a gallon but it only cost 9 cents a gallon out of oil but then oil was $3.00 a barrel.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      This is a good time for all of us to realize what those miners do for us. Without coal, we'd have half the electricity we now have. And what's more, they help to keep us from being even more dependent on foreign oil. The families need us to appreciate what miners do for us.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      50 Caliber,

      Your hearts in the right place. All we can do now is comfort the families and hope the the missing are found alive (even though they are a mile under) God willing.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Pop,

      I knew they could count on you. These are real fine folks.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Very familiar with the lives these men lead. I've been down in mines to 1500 feet, and seen what is called retreat mining where expansive space is created to where it's like a 5,000 square foot space is created and just a few upright supports as they mine out ore while retreating so if it caves in they will be on the escape shaft side. It's a hard dangerous life and I respect those who work in situations like that. It's an odds game where the company values the profit sheet more than the men who go down. It's a shame that folks have to live like that. I'll be praying something good comes from this disaster and the missing are found alive.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      My heart goes out to the families of this tragic accident. My prayers are with you.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      eovery,

      Thank you. We will pray and go on!!!!!!

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 

      8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Take care, and we pray for the best.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      msorensson,

      Thank you for your kind heartfelt words. May God go with you.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 

      8 years ago

      Yes,I saw that, Tom...so sad..

      I have only been there a couple of times but I loved the people when I did. My heart goes out to the families.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Robert,

      Thank you for your kind and pertinant comments. I feel we West Virginians and you Western North Carolianians are like blood brothers we're mountain people. We don't ask for anything we worship the Lord and take care of one another.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      8 years ago

      Tom my heart goes out to you and all the wonderful ambassadors from the great state of West Virginian, home of one my fiddle heroes Kenny Baker. My heart feels this loss and I will be praying for all those families who who have lost loved ones in this horrible accident. May God with His sweet Holy Spirit wrap His arms around each of them in the days ahead. there is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Hallelujah!

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