President Obama paid tribute to the 29 coal miners who died in a West Virginia mine this month after an underground explosion, the deadliest in the United States in 40 years. "All the hard work, all the hardship, all the time spent underground—it was all for their families," the president said at a memorial Sunday afternoon. "For a car in the driveway, for a roof overhead, for a chance to give their kids opportunities they never knew, and enjoy retirement with their wives. It was all in the hopes of something better. These miners lived, as they died, in pursuit of the American dream." Before the memorial in Beckley, West Virginia got underway, Obama met with relatives the miners killed, offering praise, comfort, and a promise that he will work to make their work safer. Indeed, since the incident, Obama has ordered a review of Massey Energy Co.’s safety policies after records have shown a succession of violations and negligence. "We cannot bring back the 29 men we lost. They are with the Lord now," Obama continued. "Our task, here on Earth, is to save lives from being lost in another such tragedy. To do what must be done, individually and collectively, to assure safe conditions underground."
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