For Our Children

For thousands of coal miners whose sacrifices have spanned multiple decades, the point of going to work in the mine everyday was to provide their children a chance at a life they could not have. They did not work to spoil their children, but to see to it that cold and hunger did not take from their happiness. They worked to give their children better opportunities in life, opportunities they hoped would not leave them broken down and gasping for breath.

What has occurred in the past 10 years to cause coal miners and their families to want anything different? Why have so many people changed from wishing their children never stepped foot in the mines to putting “Coal Mining Our Future” stickers on their vehicles?

It seems to me that if we wanted a better future for our children, we’d be fighting for change in the mountains. The health of my children is important to me, and I’m sure it’s the same for any loving parent out there. Why is it then, that people back home have such a hard time accepting the health problems being caused by mining? Why are they fighting so hard for jobs that will take their children’s health instead of fighting for jobs that could provide a cleaner, healthier future for them?

I went into the coal mines to give my children a better future, and I left the coal mines for the same reason.

Now I’m speaking out about it. Does that make me a bad person? Does that make me a hypocrite?

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