Family members, friends and co-workers gathered in the North Atrium of the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday to honor those lost in job-related incidents. A wreath adorned with “Indiana’s Fallen Workers 2014,” a listing of those who lost their lives and a proclamation signed by Governor Mike Pence, stood on the sides of the stage at the annual event.
April 28th has been recognized as International Day of Mourning by Trade Unionists since the first Workers’ Memorial Day was observed in 1989. This date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the enrollment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The ceremony began with a Pledge of Allegiance lead by Chris Brickey, president of the Central Indiana Labor Council and a prayer from Darlene Bartlett-Stone, Supervisor of Women at the Church of God and Christ.
The Hoosier state lost the lives of 90 individuals through accidents on construction sites, diseases contracted by hospital workers and injuries at shopping centers, among other incidents. Brett Voorhies, president of the Indiana State AFL-CIO, Megan Sims, District Director for Congressman Andre Carson’s office, and Rick Ruble, Commissioner for the Indiana Department of Labor, were each in attendance for the ceremony and spoke words of encouragement to the families of the victims of tragedy.
Executive administrator of the Workers Compensation Board, Mary Taivalkoski, read the names of all 90 Hoosiers who passed away in 2014. Ginny Spellman, a retired member of the Association of Flight attendants, followed Taivalkoski by singing Amazing Grace.
The audience was given pamphlets with green and black ribbons to wear to honor the lives of their friends and family.