Tennant, Manchin Create Coal Miner Appreciation Day
Charleston, W.Va. – Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant joined with Governor Joe Manchin in honoring West Virginia coal miners today, creating a holiday to recognize their contributions to the Mountain State’s economy, heritage, and future.
Tennant and Manchin signed the proclamation creating “Coal Miner Appreciation Day” on the Sunday before Labor Day. They were joined by miners, union representatives, and officials from the West Virginia Coal Association in the shadow of the Coal Miner Statue at the Capitol Complex.
Tennant and Manchin both thanked the West Virginia Young Democrats, especially the members from Mingo County, who were the driving force behind the legislation that became Coal Miner Appreciation Day.
“There are very few of us in West Virginia whose family has not been touched by coal mining,” Tennant said. “Whether we are from the south coalfields, or where I’m from in the northern part of the state where we have seen so many tragedies, coal mining is a part of what it means to be a West Virginian.”
Tennant’s grandfather worked in the coal mines as a young boy. She recounted the story of how, at the age of ten, her grandfather worked in the coal mines with his father and other Italian immigrants.
Governor Manchin praised the bipartisan effort that lead to the creation of Coal Miner Appreciation Day.
“On both sides of the aisle, one thing we can all agree on is that without the hard working men and women in the coal mines we don’t have what we have today,” Governor Manchin said.
In addition to honoring the work of coal miners the proclamation also stressed the continuous monitoring of safety practices and that “environmental challenges that face the coal industry should be continually addressed and monitored through appropriate regulations to ensure that our mining communities remain healthy both environmentally and economically.”
Both signatures were required for the proclamation to be official.