After years of fundraising efforts, friends, families and coworkers of lost miners gathered with members of the community and coal supporters from throughout the nation to dedicate the Miners Memorial monument in Carbon County on Monday.
Hundreds gathered at the Price City Peace Gardens as Representative Brad King welcomed those in attendance and the monument was unveiled. The groundbreaking for the monument took place in May while stones were set in late August. Every penny spent on the memorial came from donations in the excess of $350,000. The monument carries over 1,300 names of miners who have fallen in Carbon County since coal mining’s inception in the 1880s.
Price American Legion Post 3 and VFW Post 2379 began the dedication ceremony, providing the colors while local Ben Jones sang the National Anthem. Attendees then heard from United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, former CEO of Consol J. Brett Harvet and David Lauriski, former assistant of the Secretary of Labor.
Dennis Ardohain and Frank Markosek, memorial committee chairpersons, were next to the mic. The duo thanked Tony Basso as well as the UMWA for their generous $25,000 donations to the monument. They also thanked each person who helped make the memorial a reality with their donations of time, money and ideas.
“Thank you all,” Markosek said. “We couldn’t have done it without you.”
After the blessing of the monument, the name of each miner lost in Carbon County was read. Hundreds gathered around the memorial to search for the names of their loved ones, sharing stories and tears with friends and family.
“That’s my dad,” Nana Beth Davis said as she pointed to the name of Joseph Raymond Agnus on the memorial. “He was only 59. I’ve already outlived him by 30 years.”
The Carbon County memorial is the brainchild of Ardohain and Markosek, formers miners who spent more than 80 combined years underground. With the help of more than 20 committee members, names of fallen miners were gathered, deaths were documented and funds were raised to honor those who put their lives on the line to fuel Carbon County and the nation. Now, committee members are ready to give the same honor to Emery County miners as they plan their next memorial.