On December 6th, people across the country will have the opportunity to stop and say a little thank you to the men and women who work in our nation’s mining industry. National Miner’s Day commemorates the proud history of an industry that forms the strongest part of America’s backbone. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who goes through their lives without taking some time to think about where the nation’s most valuable minerals come from, December 6th is for you.

First made official in 2009, National Miner’s Day is a long overdue tribute to the industry that harvests more than 100 different kinds of valuable minerals including copper, silver, gold, coal, limestone, granite, iron, and salt. The mining industry is active in every single state, and these men and women provide the basic materials for the industries that pave roads, create cosmetics and clothes, and help keep the lights on.

For that noble occupation, the employees of the mining industry face incredible risks. On average, about 50 to 60 American miners die on the job every year. Threats can loom at every turn. From cave-ins and explosions to potential noxious fumes, miners encounter hazards every single day. While great strides have been taken to help preserve the health and safety of the nation’s miners, the on-the-job danger of plumbing the depths of the Earth is something that miners and their families still endure. Even today, mining is considered one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet.

Not sure what value mining is bringing to your everyday life? Without the materials we get from mining, we couldn’t build cars, refrigerators, steel girders used in construction, computers, and cell phones. And those are just the big ones. Between the time you get out of bed until the time you head out the door to work, you use no less than ten products that were brought to you thanks, in part, to mining.

We here at General Kinematics are grateful for the miners that allow all of us to do what we do. National Miner’s Day may not be the country’s oldest holiday, but just like the industry it’s meant to honor, it’s certainly worthwhile.

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