If a miner doesn't go to work, they won't be honoring the men who died, Manchin said.
"I don't think there will be a mine or a miner that won't honor those fallen heroes for that one day," he said.
Investigators have not determined the cause of last week's blast -- which also injured two -- but they believe that that coal-dust accumulations worsened the disaster.
The executive order also aims to examine "rock dusting" practices. When large amounts of rock dust, such as crushed limestone, are applied to underground wall and floor surfaces, they mix with explosive coal dust and help prevent larger blasts.
Current rock-dusting standards date back to 1920s, even though government studies have urged regulators to tighten them. Permanently changing those rules would require changes to state law, Manchin said.
It's too soon to craft a specific legislative agenda on mine safety, he said, but added that he and others are "looking at everything humanly possible."
He also emphasized his support for the miners' families and for the coal industry.
"We stand strong and we stand behind the families," the governor said. "We stand behind the miners. And we stand behind the coal industry that's made this country what it is today, and will continue to be able to keep this country strong and free."
Reach Alison Knezevich at alis...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.