Lattimer Massacre Memorial Service, September 10, 2014

On September 10, 2014 a memorial service was held at the Remembrance Rock at the corner of Lattimer and Quality Roads in Lattimer.

The service was…. intense. Opening the event was a historical narrative provided by Bill Bachman of Penn State University, Wilkes Barre. The mass was conducted by an interfaith group of religious leaders who co-wrote and presented an emotional responsorial which focused on healing in the present.

One: Shots suddenly rang out

All: We have come here today to remember the stark reality
of shots fired that caused injury, death and destruction that day,
and down through the years.

One: We can stand here today and hear the echoes of these
shots. the righteous anger of the victims and their
families, as well as the communities in which they
lived and served.

All: We have come to remember nineteen unarmed miners
shot dead that day.
One: Remembrance begins with deep, personal identification.
It begins with remembering the affliction of our
brothers and sisters, and marking their pain as our
own. Remembrance is a sacred moment when we raise
up and hold to the light of the eternal moment, the good
who have died.

….

One: For the conflagration of bullets and nightmare images
forever seared into our corporate memory…
All: we lift up the ashes of our pain, 0 Breathing Spirit of the
World.

In conclusion, the service ended with a prayer asking that all the communities affected by the massacre be blessed “so that blaming the immigrants, like slavery before it, may become for us only a shameful historic memory”. That sent chills down my spine.

The memorial service was sponsored by the following organizations:

St. James Episcopal Church
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
Trinity Lutheran West Hazleton
Queen of Heaven Parish
Beth Israel Temple
Agudas Israel Synagogue
Christ Lutheran Church
Iglesia Buenas Nuevas
Faith United Church of Christ
Immaculate Conception
St, John’s Lutheran Church
Lattimer United Methodist
Hazleton One Community Center

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About LM Project
The LMP is a collaborative endeavor which aims to recognize the events surrounding the Lattimer Massacre, an incident that changed the labor movement and impacted the world by bringing to light economic disparities and ethnic tensions in the anthracite region of PA.

5 Responses to Lattimer Massacre Memorial Service, September 10, 2014

  1. Nell Finan says:

    Thank you for posting this Memorial Service. My Great Aunt, Grace Coyle Nugent, was a young school teacher in the school house at LATTIMER, where the miners ran to escape the bullets. One man, Andrew Jurechek, “who was clutching at the entrails slipping from his stomach and who cried out to her: “No! Me want to see wife. Before die!” Grace ripped her petticoat and tried to bandage his wounds. “He died before her eyes. His wife was heavy with child.” Page 129 from Michael Novak’s “THE GUNS OF LATTIMER”. Very sad memory all these years later! Your service was a lovely tribute and a good way to preserve history so that future generations will remember what many ancestors had to go through in the mining industry.

  2. LM Project says:

    Nell, Thanks for sharing your family story. I have read about your Great Aunt Grace. It is amazing how many people have family stories connected to this event, on either the side of the strikers or the deputies or the public that witnessed the tragedy and its aftermaths.

    Just so you know, we can’t take responsibility for putting on the fantastic memorial service her at the Lattimer Massacre Project. We just documented it. A gentleman named Bob Neefe of Harleigh is the event organizer, and a collection of religious leaders from Hazleton put together the service. It was very well done indeed!

    • Nell Finan says:

      It must be difficult for descendants of the deputies to remember this sad occasion as well! How very interesting that the organizer, Bob Neefe, is from Harleigh. That is where my a Grand Mother (Sarah), her sister (Grace) and their brother (John) were born. Later my mother’s sister and two brothers were also born in Harleigh. My grand parents then moved to NJ where my mother and her twin sisters were born. I feel such a warm connection to the Harleigh area. Would love a fall drive there. Maybe I will!

  3. Pingback: Cesar Chavez at Lattimer, 1972 | Lattimer Massacre Project

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