BECKLEY, W.Va. — In a short and sweet, albeit somber, memorial service, family members and local leaders gathered Tuesday, the sixth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion, to remember the 29 men who lost their lives that day.
The sun was shining brightly through the trees overhead beside the Raleigh County Courthouse, but those in attendance braced themselves against the bitter temperatures as they observed one minute and 29 seconds of silence for the miners who died April 5, 2010.
Members of the Beckley Fire Department tolled a ceremonial bell 29 times for each of the men, then Delegate Mick Bates read each of their names aloud.
Some at the service smiled gently as the names of the fallen miners were read. Others wept softly…