Crandall Canyon monument
Families mark the one year anniversary in private ceremony
August 6 marked the one year anniversary of the Crandall Canyon mine disaster. The day began early with members of the deceased miners families returning to the Crandall Canyon Mine.
The mine has been closed since the mine disaster and a monument has been built at the end of a small trail which winds through the pine trees to a secluded grove.
There are six markers at the site with the names and images of the miners who died that day. Luis Hernandez, Kerry Allred, Carlos Payan, Don Erickson, Manny Sanchez and Brandon Phillips rest within the mountain at Crandall Canyon. Their bodies were not recovered at the time of the disaster and attempts to reach them were halted with the second burst which killed Dale Black, Gary Jensen and Brandon Kimber on August 16.
It has been a difficult year for the miners families. There were the long weeks of waiting without knowing the fate of their loved ones within the mountain and the long months of trying to rerebuild without their loved ones.
With the installation of the monument at Crandall Canyon, it is hoped the healing can begin with a place for the families to visit and remember those who perished.
The monument sits in a secluded grove surrounded by pine trees and quaking aspen trees. There are three benches with the names of the mine rescuers on them with their birth and death date information.
A marker at the beginning of the trail denotes the area as a sacred place which is to be honored and held with reverence for what has taken place at the mine site.
Pastor Carl Sitterud whose brother-in-law Dale was killed in the second burst dedicated the monument in a private ceremony for the families only.
Later in the day the media was allowed to photograph the monuments after the families had left.
A luncheon was held for the miners families at the parking area for the new monument.
The monument is now open for public viewing.
Another monument is being prepared by artist Karen Templeton. This sculpture depicts each of the nine men whose lives were lost in the disaster. Templeton was awarded the opportunity to construct this monument by the families of the miners. Each family had a vote on what type of monument should be constructed.
The work is nearing completion on this second monument. It will be dedicated on Sept. 14 in Huntington at the rest area near the cemetery and the Canyon View Junior High. The monument was bronzed by the foundry in Lehi on Aug. 7.