Second Miners’ Memorial Satellite Monument a Reality

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One of four to be erected, the second Miners’ Memorial satellite monument was dedicated on Friday. The monument, which stands to the east of Sunnyside’s Miner’s Trading Post, was unveiled at a ceremony that gave the public a chance to view the monument and pay tribute to miners in their lives.

The event featured speakers Richard Cordova as well as Don Butler who spoke on a variety of topics dealing with coal mining in the local area.

Cordova gave a brief history of the 1945 Sunnyside explosion that took the lives of over 20 miners and was named as the third worst mining explosion in the history of Utah while Butler gave an overall history of the mines in the surrounding area.

Frank Markosek, who has helped to oversee the various memorials in Carbon and Emery counties, also spoke after which the monument was blessed by five local clergymen: Reverend Michael Cowan, Pastor Duane Hanson, Reverend Donald Hope, Bishop Jeff Palmer and Pastor Bob Wells.

Betty Jo Mortensen, an East Carbon native, attended the event while she was in town for her 55th class reunion. With a coal miner father and a mother who worked as head nurse at a local hospital, Mortensen saw the effects of coal mining on a personal basis, mentioning that after one mining disaster her mother did not come home from work for three days.

“It’s just awesome to see,” Mortensen said. “Even though there’s been a little downfall in this community that the pride is still here and that it’s important for these people to carry on and to remember these men.”

The two remaining monuments will be found in Helper and Huntington. Helper’s is slated to be dedicated in conjunction with the Helper Arts Festival, which will be hosted the week of Aug. 19. Huntington’s is scheduled to be dedicated earlier that month on the sixth.

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