December 6th Miner’s Day

If there ever was a dirty job it’s definitely being a miner. Hour after hour under ground digging for any number of varieties of ore. It is one of the oldest professions, starting even before recorded history when cavemen dug down in caverns for flint to make fire, weapons and tools.

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Next came gold and turquoise and malachite (which is used to make copper). Then bronze and iron and of course coal. Since then ever mineral required by man has to be mined from somewhere.  It is a proud profession and a dangerous one, both while performing the duties that need to be done to extract the materials and after retirement when the years of breathing in the air filled with dirt and other minerals can cause lung cancer and other breathing disorders.

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It’s also back breaking work, made only a little easier by the invention of new machines to help with the chipping away at the gifts the earth provides. In many ways, little has changed since the first caveman went down into the caverns. You can see how the men above looked in the past, the men below are modern day miners.

Miners return from their shift at the Ka...Miners return from th
Miners return from their shift at the Ka…Miners return from their shift at the Kalinina coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, controlled by pro-Russian rebels on December 1, 2014. Official statistics shows the country needs a million tonnes of anthracite coal per month to feed its power stations. By November 24, only 1.8 million tonnes were left in the reserves. Russia announced it was stopping coal supplies to Ukraine last week, claiming “force majeure” but offering no explanation. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Here in the US Miner’s Day was made into a resolution by the the US Senate under the leadership of the Memorial Association of West Virginia and it’s head, Roy Lee Cooke, in 2009. It is a day to remember the men, women and children that worked in the mines so that you could have many of the modern items you use daily.

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How to celebrate – Visit a mine and see the working conditions for yourself. Thank any miner you may know for their hard work. Try and list as many products as you can that come from mining. You might be surprised how many there are.

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