Pray for the dead
And fight like hell for the living.
WE NEVER FORGET
The Costa Family, Martyrs of Ludlow
THE TINIEST STRIKER
Cedi and Charlie Costa had three children in 1913, Tony-2, Lucy-4, and Onofrio-6. They lost little Tony that year to the flu. At the time of the Ludlow Massacre, Cedi had carried another baby to term. That tiniest striker is not on the list on the back of the Ludlow Monument, but is mentioned as one of our martyred dead in a few accounts of the massacre.
Jack Reed, who arrived in the Trinidad on about April 30th, gives this account:
Two days after the burning of Ludlow, a reporter, some Red Cross nurses, and the Rev. Randolph Cook of Trinidad, were permitted by the militia to search among the ruins of Ludlow tent colony. The battle was still raging, and the soldiers amused themselves by firing into the ruins as close as they could come to the investigators. Out of the cellar under Mrs. Petrucci’s tent, which Louis Tikas had tried so hard to reach, they took the bodies of eleven children and two women, one of whom gave birth to a posthumous child.
And from Walter H. Fink:
Death Beats Life
Death, represented by the Hamrock-Linderfelt butchers, beat Life in the struggle, and young strikers were the penalty. They were just some of the many cases where the innocent had to suffer.
One particular instance of the results of this butchery was had in the undertaking parlor that night.
The young striker was unarmed.
Its mother lay on a cold, hard slab at the morgue, a victim of the Hamrock-Linderfelt murderers. She was found in the death hole at Ludlow when the Red Cross Society visited the devastated city.
If the murderous thugs in Colorado’s national guard uniform had remained away from Ludlow, had not felt it necessary to massacre the innocents to earn their $3 additional pay from the coal operators, there would have been at least one little striker two days old. But the Hamrock-Linderfelt assassins’ lust for blood could not be denied.
Thursday morning when the woman was buried a little heap lay in her arms against a breast that never had or never would nurse it.
Beshoar identifies the mother as the “wife of Costa:”
The women and children, too, were buried from Holy Trinity church. Huge, horse-drawn drays carried the white coffins to the church and away again. One long box contained the wife of Costa who had died with the union song on his lips. Against her cold breast was a young striker who had never had an opportunity to nurse it.
The Education of John Reed
International Pub, 1955
The Ludlow Massacre
-by Walter H Fink
U. M. W. A., 1914
Out of the Depths
-by Barron B Beshoar
(1st edition 1942)
Photo of Costa Family
Mother Jones Lives, Facebook
The above photo also appeared in the April 15, 1915 edition
of the United Miner Workers Journal:
Cedelina Mastro Petuccelli Costa
Colorado Strike Song – John McCutcheon
The story is told that his fellow miners sang this song to Charlie Costa
after he fell defending the Colony and until he breathed his last.