11th Annual Coal Miners Appreciation Day Held Saturday

A Southeastern Kentucky town celebrated the rich coal mining history of the region Saturday and honored those miners whose sacrifices helped shape the coal industry.

What if the coal miners of Eastern Kentucky suddenly stopped working or even more, what if they'd never worked at all?

"The economic base for the schools, the hospitals, the roads, even the lights we turn on at night to see by, we wouldn't have that," said Dorothy Myles, who founded the appreciation day.

The impact of the coal industry upon the region is evident, but what is the impact of those who support the industry.

"The life they lived as coal miners was not glamorous and it took dedicated people like that to keep working, in an industry that was so debilitating," Myles said.

"There are some hard times in the coal mines, absolutely. But there are those good days when everything clicks, the coal rolls, and the tonnage mounts up, and everybody's happy," former miner Mike Obradovich said.

It was those times, the good, and the bad, that were remembered Saturday. It was a chance to catch up with some old friends.

"I just wanted to see if I could find anybody older that I worked with," said Boyd York.

And remember those, who lost their lives working. It was those brothers, those fathers, those sons, that Saturday was for. A day to say thank you.

A benefit concert was held after the ceremony to help raise money for a scholarship fund for deceased miners' wives and children.


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