December 6, has been designated as National Miners Day to honor the contributions and sacrifices of miners, both past and present.

The date commemorates the worst industrial mine accident in American history when 362 miners perished in an explosion at the No. 6 and No. 8 mines in Monongah, W.Va., on this date in 1907.

Today, more than 350,000 miners extract dozens of diverse minerals from the earth, including coal, gold, copper, silver, granite, limestone, salt and gravel. All of these materials play critical roles in the quality of American lives. Electricity is generated by coal, which heats our homes, businesses and communities. Gravel, crushed stone and cement build the highways and bridges that crisscross the 50 states. Gold, silver and copper wiring, ceramic insulators, and silicon processing and memory chips are essential to the smartphones, computers, televisions and other electronics we use daily. Thousands of other common consumer goods, such as cosmetics, toothpaste, cookware and even kitty litter exist thanks to the hard work of miners.

Miners are vital to our nation’s economy and for years have been a part of our nation’s identity, representing fortitude, determination and spirit. They work in hazardous conditions so that our lives may be more comfortable. They deserve our utmost respect and gratitude, not just on Dec. 6, but every single day.

Learn more at www.msha.gov/minersday and tell us what this day means to you on Twitter with the #NationalMinersDay hashtag.