My family is from Ely, and my grandpa spent most of his life working 1,500 feet underground in the iron ore mines. My dad and his brother also spent some time working in the mines. The way several people quoted in the article described the miners is just not accurate and I think it is important for people to know that.
Mining is a critical part of the economy in northern Minnesota. There have been and will always be disagreements on mining issues, and people are free to express their opinions. But no one should be making disrespectful comments. If they do that, they haven’t met Dan Hill. And they haven’t met my grandpa. Here are their stories:
I met Dan Hill in December of 2015 when we brought together miners and mining company executives to meet with the President’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough about steel dumping from China and the negative effect it was having on the Range. In front of a long table of at least 50 people, Dan — a long time Range resident who was then laid off — was one of the last to speak.
He noted that everything had been said but he had just one thing to add. Dan told the story of how at his son’s pre-school graduation the teacher asked the kids what they wanted to do when they grew up.
Kids were picking all kinds of jobs, but Dan’s son said “I want to be a miner like my daddy.” Dan then tossed a steelworker T-shirt over the table to the President’s Chief of Staff and said “Make it come true, Mr. McDonough, make it come true.”