Let me first say that there is absolutely nothing funny about the recent West Virginia mine disaster. Twenty Nine men, all of whom had friends and family who loved them, lost their lives. Every day, they descended into a mine knowing that a certain level of danger was inherent in their work, yet, by all accounts, they were happy to do it. They performed one of the few jobs left in America that actually produces something. They dug into the earth and came back up with the very thing that allowed the rest of us to live our lives with comfort. Our lights come on with the simple flick of a switch, but only because men and women like these have the skill and fortitude to, day after day, climb into the bowels of earth and tunnel further and further away from safety. Now they are gone. And there is nothing funny about that.
There was this thing that happened during the memorial service. As a man came to the podium to sing the national anthem, the TV cameras focused not on him, but instead, on Barack Obama who was singing along. And it looked like this: