It was through facebook that I became aware of what happened and, as it unfolded, I stayed glued to my iPhone. Despite being born and raised in rural West Virginia, I have no relatives that work in the mines (although my family is firmly tied to the equally dangerous and exploitative chemical plants). But a lot of my friends do. So far I know of one friend that lost a part of their family but, as the names start to be made public, I'm sure there will be more.
In a little while, I'll have to make a call I've been putting off and check on the various members of the White family. There were only a few members of the "family" (I put quotes because I am including the ones that may not be blood but are hangers on) that were miners and I don't believe any of them worked at this particular mine, but I'll still call and check.
While I have deep sadness for the families and communities that lost so many, I have to say that my overriding emotion this morning is anger. This mine was not safe and, sadly, we didn't know until too late. Mr. Blankenship, the blood of 25 fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, and maybe even some wives and mothers is on your hands. I would suspect the stain from that amount of blood will be pretty hard to wash out, no matter how much money you accumulate or how many judges you own. You should be ashamed.