(Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Borough of Manville in November 2009. It was submitted as a letter to the editor to mark National Mesothelioma Awareness Day on Sept. 26. The authors of the letter did not receive a reply.)
Recently, our beloved husband, father, brother, son, grandfather, uncle, nephew and cousin, Bruce Blumberg, died at the untimely age of 64. He lived in Manville until age 10 and suffered a hideous death from asbestos-related malignant mesothelioma.
We were affronted when we noticed signs on main entry roads into the town. They read, “Welcome to Manville: A New Beginning With a Proud Past.” Given the large number of people who have contracted cancer and asbestosis as a result of working and living in Manville, we believe it is not correct to say there is a “proud” municipal history. We can be proud of the men and women who worked hard at the Johns Manville asbestos plant for so long and of their valiant, dignified struggles against these diseases, but it is a sad and tragic legacy for many of us.