State Should Assist Memorial to Miners

It is doubtful many West Virginians know about the Benwood Mine Disaster of April 28, 1924, even though it was the third-worst in state history. One hundred nineteen men died that day. Many area residents know, however, because their relatives were victims of the explosion.

One descendant of a victim, Joey Tellitocci, has made it his mission to erect a memorial to those who died in the 1924 tragedy, as well as five men killed in another Benwood mining disaster in 1942. Tellitocci’s father, Joe Sr., is leading a campaign to raise money for the memorial.

More than $21,000, including $11,000 from the city of Benwood, has been raised. Those involved broke ground for the memorial last week.

The memorial has been planned for several years, with contributions flowing in throughout that time. State officials should step in with financial aid to put the campaign over the top.