U.S. Senators Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., today introduced a Senate Resolution honoring the 29 coal miners who perished in the Upper Big Branch South mining disaster and extending the condolences of the entire United States Senate to the families of the fallen coal miners, as well as recognizing the valiant efforts of the emergency response workers.
"Today, with this resolution, we honor the memory of the West Virginia miners who lost their lives toiling in the industry that fuels this country and has made us the industrial envy of the world," said Byrd. "They are the backbone of a great nation whose energy needs are balanced upon their difficult and dangerous labor, and we must leave no stone unturned in examining the health and safety protections and provisions to ensure that a disaster of this magnitude never happens again."
"Today, we recognize and remember the heroic coal miners who selflessly put their lives on the line every single day to provide for their families and for our entire nation. It is time for us all to pause and reflect on the sacrifices of those who work in dangerous underground conditions to preserve America's quality of life. Their tenacity, their courage and their determination to keep America strong and the electricity on is an inspiration to us all--their sacrifice must be honored," said Rockefeller. "We also owe a great deal of gratitude to the rescue workers who put their own lives in jeopardy during the mission to save the miners. Our rescue teams forged ahead through dire and grim circumstances. They carried the hope of an entire nation on their shoulders, and we deeply thank them for their efforts."