Rescue of 9 men from Quecreek coal mine commemorated with historical markeradmin
Four years after the dramatic rescue of nine men trapped deep inside a western Pennsylvania coal mine, the 78-hour saga was commemorated Saturday with the dedication of a historical marker.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation unveiled the marker at the site where the miners were pulled to the surface through emergency shafts after being trapped 240 feet underground in a partially flooded mine.
One of the rescued miners, Dennis Hall, 52, of Johnstown, said the marker is a testament to the rescuers.
“I realize I was part of it, but I commemorate the rescue workers,” Hall told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “I’ve always felt over the last four years if it wasn’t for the rescue workers, I wouldn’t be here.”
Hall said he visited the site for the first three anniversaries of the rescue, but decided not to attend this year.
“I just didn’t want to be there,” he said. “Brings back bad memories for me, so I didn’t.”
He plans to see the historical marker “on my own time,” he said. “That’s personal to me.”
The nonprofit Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation is transforming the 5-acre site into a Monument to Life, a memorial to rescue workers and miners everywhere.
On the Net: Rescue Foundation: http://www.quecreekrescue.org/
Museum Commission: http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/