As I read the many reports about the mining tragedy this reporter saw what I see every day - Amazing Grace. Samira J. Simone
covered the Kentucky Darby Mine No. 1 that killed five coal miners. She returned to cover this tragedy and reports what she found. It is an honest view of the coalfields everywhere so check this article out.
I covered a mine disaster back then, too -- the explosion at Kentucky Darby Mine No. 1 that killed five coal miners -- and found myself marveling at the strength of the families and the community. And, despite their pain, they were hospitable, allowing a green reporter without a signal to use their living room phone, rest on their front steps and ask a few questions about their fears and worries.
I left after more than two years of sharing their stories, and hoped to return someday to catch up with my mountain neighbors and the families who allowed me to walk into their homes and share their lives with the world.
Instead, I returned for tragedy.
The people in the coalfields are indeed special. I am happy to see at least one honest view.
I'm still amazed by the teachers who have allowed us reporters to use their classrooms as impromptu work areas, the nearby residents who insist on making sure we eat during the long days, the miners who bravely re-enter the mines just a day after losing some of their closest friends, and the victims' families, who remain patient as they wait for news.
I don't know how they do it, how they stay so composed, so strong in the face of such a horrific disaster felt miles away. And through it all, they accept our presence with a dignified grace. I can't imagine them handling it any other way.
For me, I don't want to be anywhere else. God's will, I will live and die in these mountains with the people I love and admire most. I know that I owe a death and my body and memory will pass. But these mountains, these mountains are forever. While the world watches our tragedy, it seems tragedy is the only time we get any attention. They judge and they use us for gain. Some mock and make fun of us...Ron Short said it best-"We are good enough"....Indeed, we are good enough.
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