Today, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., co-founder of the Congressional Coal Caucus, attended the dedication of the UBB Memorial:
"Two years ago our state witnessed great tragedy, losing twenty nine of our fellow West Virginians in a heartbreaking mining disaster at Upper Big Branch. Today we are here to recognize these men and the impact their lives and legacies have made on our state.
"In the wake of this tragedy, I was touched by how our state came together. The out pouring of compassion and support was remarkable, and made me even prouder to be a West Virginian. These men worked incredibly hard day-in and day-out, in touch, often putting their lives on the line daily, and we honor them.
"This memorial will stand in tribute to these men, and through it future generations will know their story. It is important to keep their legacy alive. It is unfortunate that it took a tragedy like this to bring our state together, but we are stronger than ever now.
"Through this disaster our state became more focused than ever before on the safety of the miners that power our nation. We take great pride in our mining industry, and we learn from every injury and tragedy. Knowing that this horrific situation could have been prevented only strengthens our focus on mining safety.
"Though these men are no longer with us today, we will never forget their sacrifices."