“In this age of Twitter and reality TV, when every aspect of life can be beamed around the world in an instant, it is too easy to forget about the miner and his daily labors, often sequestered deep underground, far from our view, though intimately connected to so many of our daily needs and desires.
“Yet, from time to time, something happens to remind us of our miners. Unfortunately, that something has too often been a tragedy, like the explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine, in Southern West Virginia, on April 5, 2010, which took the lives, far too soon, of 29 good men.
“It is no coincidence that, tomorrow the Mine Safety and Health Administration is releasing its final report on the UBB disaster. December 6th – the anniversary of the 1907 Monongah Mine disaster, the worst mining disaster in American history – is also ‘National Miner’s Day.’
“I am proud to have authored the House Resolution that sought to establish that date for national remembrance and recognition of America’s miners. It is a shameful truth that each advance in our Nation’s mine safety system has come only after a mine disaster. But I hope that ‘National Miner’s Day’ might alter that tradition and, each year, serve to bring the miner into the light and kindle our national conscience.
“At least on this one day, the Congress and all Americans should turn our attention to recognizing the contributions that miners have made to our Nation – its economic vitality and its military strength. We should take this annual opportunity to help ensure that our miners have safe, healthy, humane conditions in which to work. America and American miners deserve no less.”