I'm not talking just about my immediate family. I'm talking about how West Virginia is a state that is so very close knit, that in ways we are a family. We come together in good times and in bad.
Just last week we were together in cheering on our WVU Mountaineers while they competed in the NCAA Final Fours. We watched as Da'Sean Butler fell to the court in agonizing pain, we saw his coach Bob Huggins cradle and comfort him. We shed tears, not just for the loss but for his pain also.
And now WV has gathered again in the wake of a terrible tragedy.
In Raleigh County, the area in which I live, we were shocked and saddened to hear about a mine explosion in a nearby town of Whiteville at the Upper Big Branch mine. 25 men have died, 2 are injured and are in nearby hospitals, and there is an ongoing rescue attempt to find 4 missing miners. I don't know that I know any of the miners, not all names have been released yet. But I know many people that have lost a dad, son, brother, grandson, uncle. This has devastated families. Many families lost more than one person in this explosion. It's an extremely sad situation. The night it happened I cried for all those families that were waiting to hear news on their loved ones. I stayed up late watching news reports hoping they were able to get them out safely. And shed a tear when the numbers continued to rise of those who had lost their life.
This picture along with the miners uniform were taken from the Facebook page -PRAY FOR THE COAL MINERS IN RALEIGH CO. WV
I ask that all of you send up a prayer for the miners that are lost to us, the injured and the missing. Ask that God holds each of these families in His arms and comfort them in this time of need. Also remember the 32 members of the rescue crews that are assisting in rescue efforts.
Many want to talk badly about the coal industry, but this is not the time to do so. We need to remember that these men were just doing their jobs trying to provide for their families. Families that are now grieving. They deserve our respect and prayers.
UPDATED: I'm adding a video made by a sweet, sweet friend Serena who grew up as a coal miner's daughter. I hope you enjoy. It's very beautiful.