The official dedication ceremony for the marker, which will commemorate the workers and their rescuers, is scheduled for Saturday, July 29 at 9.30am local time on Haupt Road, according to the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation.
“The Quecreek mine rescue was a unique event in the history of Pennsylvania and the country,” foundation president Bill Arnold said.
“That fact was brought home to us this year as we saw the tragic loss of life in mine accidents in West Virginia, Kentucky and even our own state – we should never forget what a miracle this rescue was.”
The foundation also released the attribute that will appear on the marker:
On July 28, 2002, nine coal miners, trapped for four days due to flooding of the Quecreek Mine, were saved via a rescue shaft drilled here. Combined efforts of local, state, and federal agencies, mining and other industries, local mine workers, emergency responders, and community members led to the rescue. The incident prompted changes in mine safety, mapping, and drilling methods. It roused national media and public attention.
Arnold said the placement of the marker was significant not only to those who witnessed the accident, but also to those who continue to seek out more information on it.
“This is the fourth anniversary of the rescue and each year more and more people want to learn about what happened here and this marker will help us tell the story,” he said.
Last year, the foundation and area individuals worked to preserve the Sipesville Fire Hall, where the miners’ family and friends waited for word and supported one another.
As part of that 2005 celebration, a special charity auction was held to raise around $US20,000 needed to move the old fire hall to its new location on the rescue site and to help fund the Sipesville Fire Company.
The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation, a non-profit charitable endeavor, was established to “educate the public about the rescue and to maintain and operate the mine rescue visitors’ area,” according to the website. The organization is publicly-funded.