Home Church & Religion Memorial Service For the Mining Disaster Victims of Dawson, NM

Memorial Service For the Mining Disaster Victims of Dawson, NM

SANTA FE, NM – Greek News USA

It was a day full of emotions at the now ghost town of Dawson in northeastern New Mexico. What remains of the once booming mining town, is a Cemetery with some 383 white iron crosses for the miners – 52 of them Greek immigrants- who lost their lives in the two mining disasters that devastated the community, on October 22, 1913 [killing 263 miners] and on February 2, 1923 [killing another 120].

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the second mine explosion in Dawson a gravesite memorial service was held on Sunday, February 5, 2023, following the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy at the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Fe, officiated by His Grace Bishop Constantine of Sassima who traveled to New Mexico for the occasion, with the blessings of H.E. Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver.     

The names of all those 383 miners who perished in both disasters were read aloud. Wreaths were also laid.

Representatives from the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA), the organization that made this memorial a National Project, and the Daughters of Penelope were also present.

On Saturday, February 4thm His Grace presided at Great Vespers at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Albuquerque.

A book chronicling the history of Dawson: Crosses of Iron: The Tragic Story of Dawson, New Mexico, and its Twin Mining Disasters, by Nick Pappas, a retired reporter andcity editor for the Albuquerque Journal  is scheduled to be released in September.

The Dawson Cemetery has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1992.