Remembering the victims of Deepwater Horizon – 10 years later

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They were sons, husbands, and fathers.

I was born and raised in a small town in Louisiana, where you either farmed or worked offshore to provide for your family.   So, the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon hit especially close to home.

Ten years ago today, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico claiming the lives of 11 men and injuring 17 others.

On the morning of April 20, 2010, I was working here in the newsroom when reports began coming in about the explosion.  My first call was to my sister whose husband was working offshore, but he was not on that rig.  Sadly, two of the men who were neighbors to my mom and dad were there.  One was terribly burned and the other did not come home.

The toll on so many lives was and is still heartbreaking.  Each year I think about those men, what they endured, and the families left behind.

Today, we honor and remember each one.

  • Aaron Dale Burkeen, 37, Philadelphia, Mississippi
  • Karl Kleppinger Jr., 38, Natchez, Mississippi
  • Dewey Revette, 48, of State Line, Mississippi
  • Shane Roshto, 22, Liberty, Mississippi
  • Donald Clark, 49, of Newellton, Louisiana
  • Stephen Ray Curtis, 40, of Georgetown, Louisiana
  • Gordon Jones, 28, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Roy Wyatt Kemp, 27, Jonesville, Louisiana
  • Keith Blair Manuel, 56, of Gonzales, Louisiana
  • Adam Weise, 24, Yorktown, Texas
  • Jason Anderson, 35, of Midfield, Texas

Not long after the tragedy, country music artist Trace Adkins created a memorial video honoring the victims, the survivors, the families, and as Adkins said, “To the thousands more who go out there every day, to keep it on bottom and turnin’ to the right”.

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