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Community of Huntington Coming Together through Tragedy

   |  Posted Aug 17th, 2007 @ 6:00pm


Amanda Butterfield Reporting

The deaths of the rescuers are a huge blow to residents of Huntington. Through the tragedy, though, there are some inspiring stories of hope, still.

The mayor describes what the town has been through as being like a boxing match, and last night's news was a hit to the gut. She she says you get back up, and that's what this town is doing.

The message is everywhere: pray for our six miners. After the three deaths from Thursday's mine collapse, the tragedy is affecting everyone.

Huntington resident Andra Moss said, "You can't get away from it. At work you're constantly hearing about it. You're constantly seeing people rushing out the door trying to figure out if their family members passed away, if they're hurt."

Huntington Mayor Hilary Gordon says, "You know what, we take these punches and everybody does it. These communities, these are tough people, really tough people."

Mayor Gordon says there's a real sense of community coming out of all this. She showed us a box of blankets, made by a 10-year-old for the miners' families. And the generosity from organizations has been great.

All the residents we've talked to are in some way connected to the trapped miners, either family, friends or co-workers. They say they will get through this.

The deadly news has postponed a Country Jam that the town was going to have to raise money for the families of the trapped miners.

It is a sad day in Huntington, No one is really in the mood to sings and dance and laugh, but everywhere you look there are signs of hope: reminders to residents to keep praying for the miners and their families.

Judy Lang was heading up a Country Jam fundraiser for the families of the six trapped miners. After last night's tragedy, they decided to hold a vigil instead for the families of the trapped miners and the three rescuers who died. Donations were collected that will be given out to the miners' families.

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