April 9th, 2010
11:01 AM ET

Pain all too familiar in mining community

Miner Thomas Jones, left, joins in a candelight vigil to honor the dead miners this week in Whitesville, West Virginia.

Larry Shaughnessy
CNN Pentagon Producer

The vague, familiar feeling began even before we arrived at the area of Monday's deadly mine explosion.

At least one church stood prominently in each little village along a two-lane asphalt roller coaster called Highway 3 from Beckley to the mine site. These are not the big mega-churches you see in the suburbs - they're modest, even quaint.

In front of a red brick chapel in Arnett, two women were working on a sign out front. You've seen these signs - the ones so many churches use to post inspirational messages from the pastor or perhaps the schedule for Sunday services.

Crista and Charlotte Dickens were changing the sign to read "God Bless Our Miners and Their Families."

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Filed under: Mine Blast
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