Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 17, 2012

UBB monument to be delivered today

The Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial monument will be delivered to the newly completed memorial plaza in Whitesville today.

According to Mike Gwinn, vice president of the memorial group, Beckley Crane and Construction will deliver the first of six large granite segments and the entrance sign to the memorial site on Coal River Road and installation is expected to be complete by Thursday.

The memorial, which is on its last leg of the journey from Rock of Ages in Graniteville, Vt., is 48 feet long and made from “American Black” granite from a quarry in St. Peters, Pa. The main portion of the granite work has the silhouettes of 29 miners and reads: “Come to me, all you who labor, and I will give you rest.”

The reverse side of the monument details a history of coal in West Virginia. It also includes a tribute to all coal miners and an homage to the temporary gazebo memorial that was erected shortly after the explosion. The monument and surrounding plaza were designed by Rob Dinsmore of Chapman Technical Group in St. Albans.

The delivery and installation are being coordinated by Arnold Maynard of Beckley Crane and Construction and Pray Construction. The monument segments and entrance sign arrived at Maynard’s Beckley location Monday evening. Today, the granite segments and sign will be transported to the memorial site in Whitesville by flatbed truck, escorted by West Virginia State Police.

Once there, Gwinn reported that telephone and cable lines will be dropped to the sidewalk and power lines raised so that each piece of granite can be lowered onto its permanent base by crane. After installation is complete, the monument will be covered until the official dedication July 27.

Gwinn expressed deep gratitude to Beckley Crane and Construction, of Beckley, and owner Arnold Maynard for “personally going above and beyond to coordinate the delivery and installation of the monument and volunteering his own time with no charge to us.”

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