My friends its a sad day. We've lost a voice of the mountains, one of the great voices of the mountains, and most certainly a soldier, to cancer. Her voice will not die or cease because she's left. In memory of her and what she stood for, most certainly, the voices from the hollers and the mountains will continue simply because who she was and what she stood for.
Do not let her passing be in vain. Let her be an example for you to stand and speak out and say, "Enough is Enough." The price we pay in the Appalachian Coalfields, as you can see by the passing of this young lady, Judy Bonds, is far far too high. And so when you're wondering what you can do, take a stand give her her voice back. Don't let her voice die, you be the voice she had.
Be the voice of the people oppressed so we can have equality, the health, the fresh water, the fresh air that the rich people take for granted. And those of us who live in the Coalfields of Appalachia cannot take it for granted. This is Larry Gibson reminding you that the fight is not over, it has been raised to a higher level. Keep her and her family in your thoughts. Continue to fight and if in any given time you wonder, you think about the lady who fought as hard as she did and she will be the fuel for your fire.
Take her passing to be the fuel for your fire. Concentrate on the issue at hand. She would say, as i do, never give up what you believe in. I will give you this promise that i will never back down on what i have told you. So, i encourage you to step up to the plate and ring your voices through the hills and hollers and let them know you're not going anywhere. I look forward to having a long future with you.
Larry Gibson, Keeper of the Mountains Foundation