13th Annual Coal Miners’ Appreciation Day

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

More than 200 people came together in Harlan County to celebrate coal miners at the 13th Annual Coal Miners’ Appreciation Day.

Many say they wouldn't trade the years they spent in the coal mines for anything.

Hal Woods, a former coal miner says, “I liked coal mining and I'm a second generation. My dad worked here 42 years and now my son is a third generation, he works here now. So we've been coal miners for a long time.”

Hal woods spent 25 years working the coal mines in Lynch

Robert Collier, Mayor of Lynch says, “Coal miners are coal miners no matter where they're from and they all face imminent danger every time they go underground or even on the outside and we just want to pay homage to them.”

So every year in October, one day is set aside for the men and women who work so hard in an industry that's so demanding.

The coal miners tell us they worked everyday together to fill these locomotives up with coal but they say they weren't just a team, they were family.

Woods says, “What it is, is so close corners and you got so big equipment, you got to know where all your people is and everything so won't get anybody hurt or killed.”

Many coal miners say simply, it was just a job, but know they're work helps fuel Eastern Kentucky and the nation.

Lynch’s Mayor says, “We're going to show we're true Americans and we're proud to be coal miners and retired coal miners.”

Officials say when the new portal 31 museum opens in Lynch, it will help recognize and appreciate coal miners.

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