Sunday, April 5, 2015, marked the five-year anniversary of the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine near Whitesville, W.Va. The explosion killed 29 miners.
The Upper Big Branch (UBB) memorial is wedged between the mountains that run through Whitesville, W.Va., a town with a population of less than 600. The memorial is located just a few miles from the Upper Big Branch mine.
Two kids bike past the memorial on the fifth anniversary of the mine disaster, which fell on Easter Sunday.
The reflection of Patty Lavender is seen in part of the memorial for the Upper Big Branch miners in Whitesville, W.Va. Lavender lost family in the disaster.
Patty and Paul Lavender of Charleston, W.Va., visit the UBB memorial on the five-year anniversary of the disaster. Patty’s cousin was one of the miners killed in the explosion.
A flower sits at the base of the UBB memorial in Whitesville, W.Va. Patty Lavender, seen in the background, lost a family member in the explosion five years ago.
A flower rests on top of pieces of coal that sit at the base of the UBB memorial in Whitesville, W.Va.
The names and ages of the miners who died in the UBB disaster are etched into the memorial.
Patty Lavender stands on the UBB memorial as she touches the name of Timmy Davis, her cousin that died in the disaster. Davis’ name, along with the names of the 28 others who died, are etched on the memorial.
Patty Lavender shows her husband, Paul, where the name of her cousin is located on the UBB memorial in Whitesville, W.Va.
The silhouettes of miners are situated under the West Virginia state seal on the side of the UBB memorial in Whitesville, W.Va.
The reflections of Paul and Patty Lavender are seen in the side of the UBB memorial, which tells the story of “King Coal.”
The UBB memorial sits in a slim gap between the mountains that run through Whitesville, W.Va.
A wreath of flowers sits near the UBB memorial in Whitesville, W.Va. A trailer park can be seen in the background, across the river from the memorial.
The sun reflects off the UBB memorial, which features the silhouettes of 29 men, representing those who died. Below the men is a variation of Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all you who labor, and I will give you rest.”