FAIRMONT – The House of Delegates representatives from Marion County support the Miner's Day Memorial Association's efforts to establish the second annual observance of West Virginia Miner's Day and to create memorial funds.
"As a former miner and a representative of the United Mine Workers of America since 1996, I am always aware of the work and sacrifice of our miners, but this commemoration encourages members of the general public to stop and recognize the mining profession," said Delegate Mike Caputo, House Majority Whip.
Delegate Linda Longstreth agreed.
"Being active members of mining communities, we understand the importance of the mining industry to our local economies, but as legislators we also are aware of the impact the mining industry has on a state and national level," she said.
But, Delegate Longstreth, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, which typically considers most mine safety-related legislation, noted that state officials often deal with the technical aspects of the mining industry and mining.
"Miner's Day and the continued work of the Association serve to remind lawmakers and other state officials of the individuals and personalities who work so hard in the mines," she said.
Delegate Tim Manchin said he appreciates the fact that the Association was able to create both a Miner's Day Scholarship Fund and a Miner's Day Monument Fund.
"A monument will serve as constant reminder of the contributions of our miners and their significant place in our state's rich history," he said. "And by providing a scholarship in their honor, we are encouraging students not only to pursue an education, but to take note of the mining community's essential contribution to our state's identity."
The delegates recalled when the Legislature adopted the concurrent resolution, which they sponsored, that created Miner's Day in 2006. The resolution set the date of Dec. 6, which is the date of the Monongah mining disaster in 1907.
"That was the nation's worst mining disaster, which we will never forget," he said. "But by spending the anniversary of that tragedy honoring all miners, we are recognizing their courage and tenacity and looking positively to the future of our country's miners."
Information about Miner's Day is available at www.minersday.org.