Ernie's Grandfather was a coal miner.
Our farm is in the Pennsylvania Coal Region.
This tragedy is too sad for words. And the fact that it may have been avoidable is unbelievable. There were numerous safety violations against this mine and this mining company as recently as December.
Nobody should have to work this way to make a living in the year 2006. And certainly nobody should have to die this way.
In case you can't read this publication from 1904, this is what it says:
Oh Lord, after I have worked my last day and come out of the earth and have placed my feet on Thy footstool, let me use the tools of prudence, faith, hope and charity. From now on till I will be called to sign my last pay roll, make all the cables in the machinery strong with Thy love. Supply all the gangways, slopes and chambers with the pure air of Thy grace and give me the Holy Bible for my last shift, so that Thou, the General Superintendent of all the colieries can say, "Well done, thou good, faithful miner come and sign the pay roll and receive the check of eternal happiness." Amen.