Country Should Be Proud Of Coal Miners

February 4, 2019

Editor: My father immigrated from Lithuania to Ellis Island and eventually received his citizenship papers, which are framed and hanging on my wall. Contrary to the contents of a recent letter, “Immigrants in our earlier history had to have paperwork” (Jan. 21), he was not “enticed” to come here because the streets were paved with gold. He came here to better his way of life and to raise a family in the United States of America. In addition, it was not necessary to meld into huddled masses for protection. He immigrated to Forest City, a small community where that standard of living was comparable to any town equal in size. My father was not a “slave.” He was a professional coal miner among thousands who mined anthracite coal to keep our country warm during war and peace. They were experts in the use of explosives and timbering with the ability to determine the quantity of explosives to free the coal. Of course, it was dangerous because of natural and man-made disasters. As a result of my father’s immigration and work, he had five sons who served in the military during war and peace. In addition, there are doctors, attorneys, and other hard-working professional people serving others in this state. The country should be proud of the men who toiled underground to provide the necessary fuel to help this country grow and proposer. My father worked in the mines for 25 years, but because of one of those natural disasters, he did not survive to reach his 26th year. He was killed July 19, 1945, because of a rock that fell off the side wall. God bless America and the heritage the coal miners left behind. John J. Navich DALLAS