This month marks the 10th anniversary of the rescue of nine miners from the flooded Quecreek Mine.
To celebrate the accomplishment on that day, U.S. Rep. Mark Critz and former Gov. Mark Schweiker will attend the anniversary event on its last day.
A weeklong series of activities to commemorate the rescue are being planned by The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation.
They will include such things as a chance to meet the miners and rescuers, a community day and a fireworks display.
The foundation planning the ceremony was started by the William Arnold family, owners of the dairy farm where the miners were rescued.
Arnold said the foundation wants to make the anniversary special so, instead of a one-day celebration, there will be six days of activities.
He hopes the anniversary will show the public what has been accomplished with the memorial site in 10 years as well as the plans for the foundation for the next 10 years.
“It’s incredible to reflect on the mining accident. Sometimes it feels like it was yesterday that it happened,” Arnold said.
“It’s a unique milestone for the 10th anniversary and we’re still growing.”
Since the rescue, tens of thousands of people from around the world have visited the farm to see the site, Arnold said. The show of public interest was what gave the family the idea to develop the site into a permanent monument.
“This isn’t a, ‘build it and they will come’, thing. It’s ‘build it because they came,’ ” Arnold said.
“I think this event is an incredibly important part of American history.”
“We saw the best of the county and the best of America come out of it,” he said.
“You know, the country was still reeling from the tragedy of 9/11 and they needed something positive to happen. They needed something to lift their spirits and say, ‘We will prevail.’ ”
Some things visitors can expect to see at the site are rescue shaft number one and two, pieces of equipment that were used to save the miners, including the rescue capsule, a 7-foot cast bronze coal miner and other things to commemorate the event.
“It’s so heartwarming and overwhelming to see the people coming to visit the memorial site,” Arnold said.
“I’m glad that people haven’t forgot about it.”
There will be no admission charge during the anniversary week at the rescue site.
The memorial is open regularly Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an admission price of $5 per person.
July 24 – Industry Day features Center Rock Inc., the company that made some of the equipment used in the rescue of the nine miners at the site.
July 25 – Community Day starts at 4 p.m. at the site.
July 26 – Meet the Rescuers. Miners and rescuers avaliable throughout the day for photos and autographs.
July 27 – 10th Anniversary Development Dinner includes a silent auction and a basket raffle. The evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception and dinner at 6:30 at Hidden Valley Resort. Tickets for the event are $50 and benefit Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation. For tickets call 467-5137 or 445-4876.
July 28 – Celebration ceremony begins at 11 a.m. This event will feature U.S. Rep. Mark Critz and former Gov. Mark Schweiker. A car cruise-in will be at 1 p.m. and fireworks after dark.
To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links: