By Frank James

A memorial service took place Tuesday in Jackson, Miss. for the eleven men who died more than a month ago after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

The eleven men presumed dead and who vanished without a trace were: Roy Wyatt Kemp, Blair Manuel, Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Karl Kleppinger, Adam Weise and Gordon Jones.

Unlike the victims of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, the men who died on the rig on April 20 have gotten relatively little attention from the national and world media. Tuesday was a chance to change that.

As NPR's Russell Lewis reported for the network's newscast:

Much of the attention of the Deepwater Horizon explosion has focused on the oil that's still spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
But for family members of the eleven workers who died, the accident is more personal. The rig was owned by Transocean and its CEO, Steve Newman, fought back emotion as he told attendees they are all now a community that no one wanted to be a part of.
NEWMAN: A community of loss, of remembrance but also of hope and most of all, a community of faith. A faith that has been tested by this tragedy and that we hope that will be strengthened by this gathering today.
RUSSELL: Each of the family members received a bronze-helmet with a drilling rig carved onto it.
Transocean wouldn't allow the media to interview any of the attendees.

Transocean has the following video tribute to the men on a web page it has set up as a memorial.

categories: Accidents and Disasters

9:57 - May 25, 2010