This Veterans Day, I want to remember a special group of fighters commonly overlooked in military remembrances: our brave ancestors who gave their blood in the WV Mine Wars to secure their livelihoods and our labor rights. Those who fought on the side of right during those battles were soldiers just as much as any other soul who ever wore a uniform, and many of us still carry their fire in our bellies.
“In probably the largest armed labor uprising in American history, perhaps as many as 20,000 miners marched 90 miles and engaged in a two-week battle with more than 5,000 Logan County deputy sheriffs, mine guards, and state police. The Battle of Blair Mountain ended when President Warren G. Harding placed the region under martial law, and ordered 2,500 federal soldiers and a bombing squadron into the state. ” The Mine Wars, e-WV
So I send this song out in memory of the miners and their families. You are not forgotten, and we will never stop in our quest to protect these mountains.
“There’s a hole in this mountain, and it’s dark and it’s deep
And god only knows all the secrets it keeps
There’s a chill in the air only miners can feel
There’re ghosts in the tunnels that the company sealed”
Thank you Steve Earle for writing this; come on back to Mountain Stage anytime.