Recently, our group of 10 students from Xavier University visited your state. It is not every day that students from our urban campus in Cincinnati are able to encounter the majesty of nature that is perfectly expressed in the mountains of West Virginia.
After spending time in Charleston, Ripley and Spencer, we were not only acquainted with the beauty of our environment, but the strong sense of spirit from its people. In short, your state, West Virginia, is a national treasure of both natural wonders and vibrant culture.
Unfortunately, our group was disturbed to learn that much of this culture is being threatened by the practice of mountaintop removal. We understand that coal is an integral part of West Virginia culture; however, the immeasurable cost of the permanent loss of your mountains certianly seems to outweigh any of the potential benefits of mountain-top removal. Specifically, Blair Mountain (which carries both state and national historical significance) was recently removed from the list of the National Register of Historic Places and is in danger of being destroyed.
Please, West Virginia: Stay "Wild and Wonderful!" Protect your mountains by urging your senators and representatives to support S. 696 to ban mountaintop removal coal mining.
Xavier University Alternative Breaks
Thanks, Westboro, for uniting us in love
I would like to thank the Westboro Baptist Church for coming to West Virginia! Why? Do I like their message of hate? NO. Do I enjoy thinking of all the funerals they have protested and people they have hurt? No. Do I believe their doctrine that God hates America/solders/miners? Absolutely not. However, they brought our community together on the side of love!
At the counter protest I saw miners and tree huggers standing side by side. I saw veterans and peace protesters holding hands. Gays and straights, Christians and atheists, young, old. People from all walks of life came together and danced!
So thank you WBCers! At a time when we were filled with grief for our lost miners, you helped us to feel good about being West Virginians. You made us forget our differences and realize we are all together in this life. And that love is better than hate!
Paul A. Dalzell