Bluefield, Light of the World
A lot of words spill out for and against the places of coal rich Appalachia. About what it once was. About what it has become. These are words about what it can be.
I have never heard Bluefield referred to as the light of the world, but I cannot imagine a city that has a greater claim to this name. Over the last century, Bluefield and the surrounding areas have mined some of the best burning coal in existence and shipped it nationally and internationally. We were the fuel that fed the industrial revolution and the wind that blew the sails of our warships during the world wars. We built Pittsburgh and the entire steel industry, and in turn the tallest buildings in the world. Our coal and natural gas have been used to turn lights on in nearly every nation on Earth. When you see the famous nighttime cityscapes of New York, London, Paris, or Hong Kong, you are very likely seeing power that was clawed out of the ground by an Appalachian miner, some of t