Crandall Canyon Miners Memorial dedication on Sept. 14 in Huntington
Huntington City has been busily preparing for the dedication of the Crandall Canyon miners memorial on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. The dedication program will include Gov. and Mrs. Jon Huntsman. Catholic Bishop Wester and Elder Ballard from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will also speak at the event.
Two of the deceased miners families will also speak at the dedication ceremony. Michael Mower, the Governor's assistant has been instrumental in helping with the development of the monument. He said, "It will be a nice and fitting program."
Everyone is invited to come and see the new memorial which artist Karen Templeton recently completed. The sculpture went from Templeton's studio to the Metal Arts Foundry in Lehi where the bronzing process was completed.
The sculpture has reproduced likenesses of each of the miners including: Kerry Allred, Carlos Payan, Luis Hernandez, Brandon Kimber, Gary Jensen, Dale Black, Don Erickson, Manny Sanchez and Brandon Phillips. The bronze sculpture will rest upon a concrete wall.
Huntington City has been busily preparing the small park area at the mouth of Huntington Canyon to receive this monument. Concrete and landscaping work is underway to prepare the area as a fitting place for the monument to be placed. It is adjacent to the Huntington City Cemetery and near the Canyon View Junior High School where the families spent much time during the Crandall Canyon disaster. Mine officials met with the families for briefings in the school and meals were served to the families during the time of the disaster.
You can also look up Huntington Canyon from the spot and see Crandall Canyon where six of the miners are still entombed in the mountain. The bodies of the three rescuers were recovered and Black is buried in Huntington City Cemetery, Kimber in Moab and Jensen in Richfield.
Several eagle scout projects are being done on the site of the monument. Julie Jones, Huntington City Councilmember has been coordinating the work with the scouts and the contractors. Scouts who are working on projects include: Tyler Pulli, Nathan Mecham, TJ Furner, Colton Barnett, Bryson Weaver, Lance Sitterud and Caleb Woolsey.
Aug. 6, marked the one year anniversary of the collapse. A private ceremony was held at the Crandall Canyon mine site. A monument was dedicated there which included headstones for each of the six miners who died on the site and three benches with the names of the rescuers on them.
Templeton has worked on the sculpture and she said she feels like she knows each of the miners personally now. She has become close friends with the deceased miners families during the time she has worked on the sculpture. The families have been frequent visitors to the studio to watch the work progress.
Templeton named her sculpture Heroes Among Us from the beginning when the first concept for the statue came to her. The six miners trapped in the mine collapse facing the three miners who died during the failed rescue effort set in a 16-foot long, 6-foot tall curved wall. Templeton doubts the community will ever get over the tragedy, but with the help of the new monument, the miners can be remembered.