Carlos Payan missing miner in Hunington Utah Isabel Villa, mother of Carlos Payan
With tears, accolades, song and prayer, more than 1,000 mourners said goodbye to the nine men killed in the Crandall Canyon Mine disasters.
Sunday evening's interdenominational memorial service was held on the athletic field of Canyon View Junior High School, where relatives of miners had waited week after week to hear news of the search for the first six men lost in the cave-in. They filled rows of folding chairs in front of a canvas-roofed pavilion, sat on the sloping lawn leading to the field and were seated on and stood beside the school's bleachers.
Those honored were Kerry Allred, Don Erickson, Brandon Phillips, Jose Luis Hernandez, Carlos Payan and Manuel Sanchez, caught by the Aug. 6 initial cave-in, and rescuers Brandon Kimber, Dale Black and Gary L. Jensen, killed when another mine "bounce" collapsed the rescue tunnel on Aug. 16. Prayers also were offered for six men injured in the rescue attempt.
Huntington Mayor Hilary Gordon welcomed the mourners and said it was an amazing sight to see so many gathered there. She called for them to "recognize this time as a healing time."
"This school behind us is a sacred building, and I think there are families here that know why," said Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr.
The Catholic priest from St. Joseph's Church, Ogden, spoke Thursday evening at the memorial Mass for Jose Luis Hernandez and Carlos Payan Villa, two of the six miners trapped in the initial collapse of the Crandall Canyon Mine on Aug. 6. Both were born in 1984 in Sinaloa, Mexico, but lived in Huntington.