This Too Is West Virginia
This is a picture of a mountain in West Virginia. It has been mined for coal, which has been exported out of state to supply other states in the union, year after year for nearly 150 years.
This is only one of many mountain tops that have been ‘taken down’ for mining purposes in West Virginia.
Thousands of miners have died mining for coal to export to the rest of the USA. There have been over 150 large scale mining disasters caused by all manner of corporate neglect, also some very few due to operator error or sudden underground flooding.
The West Virginia Mine Disasters Record from 1884 to the present, lists 39 men lost at the Mt. Brook Mine in 1886… and in the years therafter, there were many many mining disasters in which over 100 men were lost each time. One of the last listings is a disaster in our own time, The Sago Mine Disaster…. one that most of us witnessed the mishandling of via the press, when it was announced on TV two days after the mine explosion, that all 13 miners trapped underground were alive.
The joy felt by the survivor families and the children of the miners –and the nation watching was so profound — and also shortlived. Shortly after the first report, in surely the worst heart-shattering correction any news agnecy has ever had to make, came the factual news: The earlier report had somehow been mis-stated: 12 of the 13 men were in fact dead.
West Virginians are diverse and dedicated and, joined with environmentalists and lawmakers, many want very much to see the state move away from doing the bone-breaking dirt-deep work of supplying the nation with coal…to instead develop and take on jobs that are not guaranteed to destroy health, that are not pre-destined to most assuredly kill the workers…by fire, by poison, by lung disease.