Charleston, W.Va. – State officials, along with leaders from Glenville State College and students from Parkersburg, planted 29 trees today in remembrance of the lost Upper Big Branch Coal Miners and in observance of Earth Day.
Governor Joe Manchin and Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant plant a tree near Yeager Airport
on Earth Day 2010.
Following a brief ceremony, Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant and Governor Joe Manchin picked up shovels and planted their tree below Charleston’s Yeager Airport.
Students and Delegates Nancy Guthrie and Meshea Poore planted other trees and flowers in a valley below the main runway.
The event was part of Glenville State’s effort to plant thousands of trees around the state.
Earth Day began in 1970.
“The Earth has given us as West Virginians our livelihood,” Tennant said. “Early in our history logging produced jobs and industry, and today coal mining provides good paying jobs and powers factories around the world. So it is fitting that we are here, planting trees for these 29 men on Earth Day. We are saying to the miners that they will never be forgotten and we are giving back to the Earth.”
“Someone once said the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago,” Manchin said. “The next best time to plant a tree is today. And as we plant these trees we should say a little prayer for the coal miners in this
state who have helped the United States become the greatest industrial nation in the world.”
A memorial for the Upper Big Branch coal miners is set for Sunday, April 25 in Beckley. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to attend and deliver eulogies.
Click here to see a photo gallery of the event.