Decatur holds workers memorial day ceremony


Often times people are not the target of a heinous crime but a victim of an unforeseen accident. Sunday Decatur honored workers who have died on the job, unveiling two new, permanent stones with the names of 108 workers.

Michael Richardson lost both his father and his stepfather over just a four year period. He and his family didn't even know their dad's name would be featured on one of the new stones until they read about it in the newspaper. They came out Sunday to see it and they weren't alone.

The Richardsons along with almost 200 other people stood outside of the Macon County Courthouse to remember those whose lives were lost. There was a wreath honoring Michael Cordray and Andrew Clark's family. Cordray was a Bodine Services worker died just a couple of months ago.

Sunday's ceremony featured guest speakers like State Senator Andy Manar, and all 108 names on the new stones were read.

Richardson described it as a big day. This year marks fifty years since he lost his dad, Karol D. Richardson.

"A lot of people I grew up with, their parents are still alive or some of them now are just passing, you know," he said. "You know they've had a different life than we've had, and, uh, I look at that and I see them and I go 'hey, that's what it's like to be normal.'"

Richardson said he hopes to get his stepdad's name, Russell J. Garver Sr., added to the stones in the future, but Sunday he said he was proud and thankful to see his father's name there.

The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2011 there were 177 fatal job injuries. The highest percentage of those deaths were in transportation and warehousing, agriculture forestry, fishing and hunting, construction and manufacturing industries.

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