The Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation was founded after
the July 2002 Quecreek Mine Rescue to preserve the
memory of the miracle rescue, to honor the heroism of
rescue workers everywhere, and to provide a tribute to the
nation's coal miners.
The events of 2006 and 2007 in our nation's coal mines
have proven the fortitude of the men and women who
choose that as a career. We salute them and the rescuers
who stand by in case of calamity. Our hearts go out to the
family members who have lost loved ones in this
dangerous industry, and we stand with those who would
change coal mine safety regulations to make coal mining
When 18 Quecreek miners reported for work on the afternoon of July 24, 2002,
they had no idea their lives were about to be changed forever.
A mile and a half away, Bill and Lori Arnold, owners of Dormel Farms, never gave
a thought to the two mines that ran deep under their property. In a few hours their
lives, too, would be changed.
The Quecreek Mine Rescue made a lasting impression on many people in
Somerset County, across Pennsylvania, throughout the nation and around the
world. In the 3+ years since the miracle rescue took place, thousands of people
have visited the rescue site too see for themselves.
I became acquainted with Bill and Lori early in 2003 as they were preparing for the
1st anniversary of the rescue. My memories of the four-day rescue are those of an
observer -- watching the news, listening to what people at work had to say, wanting
someone to have information that gave hope for the nine trapped miners.
I awoke on the morning of the 25th to the news that nine miners were trapped in a
mine filled with water. I expected the location to be given as West Virginia or
Colorado. When it was reported they were in Quecreek, my heart sank. Quecreek
was in Somerset County. Less than 10 miles as the crow flies to the Flight 93
Each of us felt deeply the trauma of September 11. As we saw another potential
disaster looming over our heads, we asked the same question we had asked on
10 months earlier: how could this happen here? How could we face another
Like many who watched the rescue unfold on TV, I didn't hold out much hope for
the trapped miners. How could they survive that inundation of water? And if they
had survived, how could they possibly have enough air to breath? As the days
dragged on, the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach grew. I didn't know these men
or their families, but they were our men. Local men who grew up in Somerset
County and wanted nothing more than to make a living for their families.
When all nine were rescued early Sunday morning, it was declared to be a miracle.
And a miracle it certainly was. They had been brought from the brink of death to life
in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and circumstances.
That was why I needed to go to the rescue site, to see the place where this miracle
took place. I listened as Lori Arnold told the story as she and her husband had
witnessed it, and it became clear there had been more than one miracle during
those 77 hours.
Indeed, as I spent more time with Bill and Lori and heard all the little things that
took place not only during the rescue, but before, I realized that the hand of God
had truly been at work here in Somerset County. I wanted to share that story with
others, and I'm pleased that Lori chose me to capture their story on paper.
As I continued to visit the rescue site, I took hundreds of pictures that could not be
used in the book. They show a timeline of growth for the memorial and perhaps for
the Arnolds, as well. Spend some time on these pages to view these photos and
recall the miracle that took place on a farm in Somerset County.
The plaque dedicating the rescue memorial.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they
shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not
be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
PLEASE NOTE: NINE FOR NINE (9
FOR 9) and DORMEL FARMS are
Registered Tradmarks of THE
QUECREEK MINE RESCUE
FOUNDATION AND MAY NOT BE
USED IN ANY WAY WITHOUT
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