Coal Tattoo

‘It wasn’t how it should be … ‘

A list of the 29 miners who died at the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion is posted at the state coal miners’ memorial on the first anniversary of the disaster Tuesday, April 5, 2011 in Charleston, W. Va. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

The Gazette’s Gary Harki and I have posted the first report in our coverage of this evening’s memorial service for the Upper Big Branch miners:

William Griffith wanted to take his grandson on the boy’s first fishing trip. He never got the chance.

Griffith died on April 5, 2010, along with 28 other coal miners who died in an explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County.

“We took him a couple of weeks ago,” said William Griffith’s widow, Marlene. “It was so sad. It wasn’t how it should be.”

Marlene Griffith, her son and daughter, and some family friends were among more than 200 people who turned out this afternoon for the first in a series of memorial services to mark the one-year anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster.

The story is here. We’ll have more later as the evening progresses. Don’t forget that the 6 p.m. service in Whitesville will be broadcast live here.