1274971_10201809108330598_702111079_o-972x644It took millions of years for West Virginia’s gorgeous rivers to form. We’re poisoning them in 200. Photo courtesy of Maria Gunnoe

For those who have not read it, the article was essentially a portrait of one West Virginia family who had been greatly effected by the massive coal cleaning chemical spill and who was kind enough to let me into their lives. Hardest hit by the spill was Kami, whose youth and vitality was snatched from her via a series of severe health complications that both the family and myself are 99.9% sure were in some way triggered or exacerbated by the high concentration of pollutants in the area’s water supply and overall environment (for their part, the fine folks over at The Cleveland Clinic are pretty well stumped).

What I am asking of you is a small portion of your time: 5 to 10 minutes to read the article (if you haven’t already); 5 minutes to share it to your friends, family and followers. Share The Family Afterward on Facebook and on Twitter; share it through e-mail and LinkedIn and on Daily Kos. Let King Coal and all of the bought, sold and spoken for politicians in Charleston and in Washington know that we will not tolerate a country where citizens are denied access to a right as basic to life as clean water.

If this story can’t gain traction and America can’t get up and get mobilized over this blatant disregard for the lives of her citizens, then the only other practical step I can think of is to build a sign. That’s right, if America can’t be bothered to care about this, I’d ask that at the very least they build West Virginia a sign. Build it 200 feet long and 100 feet high and bolt it to the squint eyed through truss of the Chuck Yeager Bridge in Charleston, West Virginia. Bolt it to the side of the bridge that faces away from the city and towards the Ohio so it can greet eastward travelers with words of warning; words that gleam under the light of the Appalachian sun with a navy blue and gold granitine sparkle that obscures the moribund reality of what lies behind it. And let those words read:

“Through me is the way to the doleful country.
Abandon All Hope, Y’all Who Enter Here.”