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East Fairmont H.S.
from the October 4, 2002
Performance at East/West Stadium
East Fairmont v. North Marion
'They never gave up'
PHOTO BY TAMMY SHRIVER
By Julie Sheldon
Team that rescued Quecreek miners honored at game; two reside
Doug Shaffer (left) and Shawn DeWitt, members
of the Enlow Fork Mine Rescue Team, were honored in a pre-game
ceremony Friday evening at the East Fairmont vs. North Marion
football game. The men are both from Fairmont.
Members the Enlow Fork Mine Rescue Team, who were part of the rescue
operation this past July in the Quecreek Mine at Somerset, Pa., were
honored in a ceremony before the East Fairmont High School Bees vs.
North Marion Huskies ball game Friday evening.
Two of the members of the team, Shawn DeWitt and Doug Shaffer, are
from Marion County. DeWitt is a 1983 graduate of EFHS and Shaffer is
a 1984 graduate of North Marion. Both of the men still reside in
The team was honored in a special performance by the EFHS band. The
band performed the John Denver hit "County Roads" for the team.
"There are few heroes in this world. There are a lot of people who
are idolized for what they do. When you talk about risking lives to
save another fellow human being that's a hero," said EFHS band
director Earl W. McConnell.
McConnell said he felt honored that the men would travel to see the
band perform for them.
Marion County Commissioner Cecily Enos was also on hand to present a
proclamation to the rescue team, declaring Oct. 4 "Enlow Fort Mine
Rescue Squad Day."
"We have so many heroes since 9/11 and these men are right up there
with them. They never gave up and were determined to rescue those
men," said Enos.
Despite being hometown heroes, Shaffer and DeWitt were humble,
giving credit to all of the rescue workers who helped with the mine
"I really appreciate them doing this for us. It really makes us feel
good that our hometown would do something like this for us," said
"People say we rescued them; we didn't rescue them - we were a part
of a group. Everybody there had a group and a part to play in it,
and thank God it turned out the way it did," said DeWitt.
"It could have been one of us in our group and we would want someone
to come help us like we helped them," said Shaffer.
Shaffer and DeWitt said the feeling was indescribable when the nine
miners were recovered and all nine were alive.
Due to inclement weather,
the band did not perform during halftime.
Friday, October 4, 2002 - Times-West Virginian
Leave it to Busy Bee Band director Earl W. McConnell to come up with such a great idea as he has planned for tonight's pre-game show at the East Fairmont-North Marion game.
Inviting the members of the mine rescue squad from Somerset was a most thoughtful idea. The fact that one of them, Shawn DeWitt, is a 1983 East High graduate makes it a "natural" as does the fact another team member, Doug Shaffer, is a North Marion graduate.
Thursday, October 3, 2002 - Times-West Virginian
Busy Bee Band to Honor
Somerset Mine Rescue Team
East Fairmont High School will honor Consol Energy's Enlow Ford Mine Rescue Team Friday during a pre-game ceremony for their efforts in bringing to safety the nine miners trapped this past July in the Quecreek Mine of Somerset, PA.
Shawn DeWitt, a 1983 EFHS graduate, is one of the 11 members of the Enlow Fork Team out of West Finley, PA, who will be honored. He will be joined by North Marion graduate Doug Shaffer and seven other members of the team.
The EFHS Junior ROTC Color Guard will present the flags as the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees perform the National Anthem during the pre-game performance, scheduled to begin at approximately 7:10 p.m., prior to the EFHS Bees v. North Marion Huskies football game.
Director Earl W. McConnell said his band was very pleased to honor this mine safety rescue team that pulled a "miracle" out of the hate to save the Quecreek 9 miners.
He said he plans to provide a good Marion County welcome for the miners as the Busy Bee Band plays "Country Roads".
McConnell said the school was proud that two for the miners - DeWitt and Shaffer - are from Marion County.
He said the Enlow Fork Mine Rescue Team played a major role in preparing the escape capsule as well as providing and assisting with the communication cable connected to the headphones placed on each miner as they were pulled up.