Tomorrow will mark the ninth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine tragedy. The miners who perished in the explosion were experienced, dedicated, hardworking proud men devoted to their families and our community.

The perished miners deserve our gratitude and our fondest remembrances. They also deserve that history truthfully record the true cause of the incident. The false accusation that the government continues to assert that the miners’ failure to properly maintain the mine caused the explosion must never be accepted as fact, because it is false. These were good men. They were the best of the best miners.

Our government often lies to us. But if we are persistent, someday they will tell the truth about Upper Big Branch and when they do the perished miners will be vindicated and today’s miners will be safer.

God Bless the friends and family of our fallen friends.