Celebration of heroes: Concert honors heroes of Crandall Canyon mine disaster
|A very large and noisy crowd rocks out at the Collin Raye concert, "A Celebration of Heroes," at the Canyon View Junior High in Huntington.|
Huntington celebrated its heroes on Sept. 15 with a large gathering at the Canyon View Junior High. Collin Raye was the headliner along with Charley Jenkins, Carmen Rasmusen, Terry Falor, Karl Malone, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Melissa Jones, Bernie Faulkner and the group Joshua Creek. In conjunction with the event, world class motocross riders performed at Ironhorse Raceway and the Huntington rodeo grounds.
Event organizers, Gary Arrington and Shannon Hiatt welcomed everyone to the concert.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. was instrumental in helping with the event organization as well. He said, "It is the heroes who have made our life better. We have some fine entertainment here. They wanted to be here. Karl Malone wanted to be here. This is sacred land. The motocross show was arranged with the help of Corey Black, Dale Black's son. We want to thank all who are responsible. Sheriff LaMar Guymon and his deputies, those who run the junior high and we want to thank the community members. We want to turn up the heat and enjoy life and celebrate heroes and reflect on those who have died. Utah is one of Collin Raye's favorite places. Thank you for the last few weeks for loving your neighbors even more."
Karl Malone was on hand at the event to sign autographs and pose for pictures with local residents. He said, "It is a pleasure being here. When Hurricane Katrina struck, Gov. Huntsman called and asked what can I do for you? I wanted to do something. I would like to say you are the heroes, the miners and rescuers that are among us evey day. Tell your children that these are the true heroes, not athletes that are probably paid too much money. The miners have left this life and gone on to the next, doing something they loved to do." Malone reflected on how sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring people together and how it shouldn't be that way. "I always say the most important race is the human race. When we leave this life we all leave legacies. Four years ago my mom passed away. If you can look for a positive in a situation like that it will make you stong. This is a fitting event to celebrate heroes. Thanks for sharing your state and for sharing your love with me. You guys are the heroes and I love you very much."
Hiatt said, "One group of people that I need to give a big public thank you to is those that spent their entire day manning entrance gates, cooking hamburgers in the smoke, serving food and concessions. The students of Carbon and Emery High came and operated the Coke wagons and distributed food throughout the large crowds. It was wonderful to see all of Carbon and Emery county people working so well together for this great cause."
What exactly is a hero or heroine? Going to the Websters dictionary it tells us: A person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for brave deeds and noble qualities. Daring, intrepid, larger than life, taking forceful action.
We all probably have a different idea of what a hero might be. We all have heroes in our lives. On the football field the hero might catch a touchdown pass or sprint for long yardage.
Heroes on the battlefield might step in front of a bullet and die for a friend. Are you a hero if you befriend someone without friends? Are you a hero if you help someone across the street?
|Sheriff LaMar Guymon with his Cher outfit on sings a duet with Terry Fator acting as Sonny.|
Heroes come in many forms they can be big or small, man or woman, child or adult. Teenagers can be heroes. Heroes abound, but yet they are few and far between.
It might not be heroic to be a hero just now and again. But, what does it take to be one day in and day out. What does it take to be a hero when you are not feeling heroic. It might take courage and perserverance. It might take patience. What patience those soldiers in Iraq have shown. They have been there for years now. What love they have gained for the Iraqi people. What love they have when they lay down their lives that these people might enjoy some of what we have taken for granted.
Local heroes abound as well. Local law enforcement has had a challenge in Emery County lately with the Crandall Canyon mine disaster and everything and everyone that came with that event.
These hard working law enforcement personnel have made our community proud with their ability to assess a situation and determine what needs to be done. Their swift reaction and actions have made the event as smooth as possible in an impossible situation. They have added to the professionalism of their appointed offices and executed what needed to be done with a lot of dignity and patience. They were patient with people who would seem exhibited no patience of their own. We have learned and we have grown. We have become just a little taller and just a little stronger. Heroes have come out in many forms. There were those who donated money and food. There were those who offered words of comfort. There were those who prayed and cried. Many organized benefits and concerts. All felt helpless, but they became heroes anyway.
Three gave the ultimate sacrifice to help rescue their friends. Six gave their lives doing what they love. Bringing coal out of the ground to keep us all warm and keep our lives bright. True heroes.
The acts might be big or they might be small. But, it is enough that they are. When we reach out to others we all become heroes. There are those who lay their lives on the line every day. There are those who will search for the lost and bring them home in the middle of the night when most lay in their beds snug and warm. There are those who work the night shift and keep our cities safe as we sleep. Heroes rush to the scene of accidents to render aid to those in need. Heroes man our hospitals at night to take care of the sick. Heroes answer the phones when you call 911 and someone will be called out to aid in your emergency.
There are those who rush into fires to put them out when everyone else is rushing out. Heroes one and all.
Some people may be heroes and not know it. Some people teach small children to read. Some people take great delight in seeing teenagers achieve and run faster, jump higher or throw farther.
Some people teach our kids to tackle. Some people teach others to cook. We all have something to offer, we can all be heroes.
Heroes must not be taken for granted. Those who risk their lives on a day to day basis deserve our highest respect and esteem. We can all strive to be like them. The greatest heroes are those who don't know they are heroes, but they just do what needs to be done.