Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh, happy day!

This is a very happy day. It isn't often that there is a story in the news that brings unadulterated and uncomplicated joy to all who hear or read it, but surely the story of the Chilean miners who were finally safely brought back to the surface of the earth today must be such a story.

These men had been trapped underground for more than two months, while their foreman kept them organized and focused and managed their available supplies so that they could have a chance to survive the ordeal. On the surface, government officials, engineers, scientists, medical personnel worked together non-stop to drill an escape route and devise the equipment and machinery needed to draw the men safely out. The families and friends of the men kept vigil, creating an impromptu village near the site of rescue operations. Some of the wives had been on the site continuously since the accident.

The beginning of the end was last night when the first miner was brought up and, throughout the day today, there were updates as each one made it from the darkness of the mine to the brilliant sunlight of the day. They were issued sunglasses to wear to protect their sensitive eyes from the light which they had not seen for so long.

This story is a triumph of the human spirit on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin, but maybe we should begin with the miners themselves. They were obviously well-trained for such an eventuality and they kept their composure and kept hope alive through all their long ordeal. All of those people who worked to effect their rescue give new meaning to the word "competent". They worked expeditiously and with fervor to free their countrymen and return them to their loved ones. The political establishment in Chile lent its power and commitment to the effort.

It is a story that has riveted Chile and, indeed, the world for more than two months. The outcome is all that those of us who followed it could possibly have hoped for. Bravo, Chile! Bravissimos to everyone involved! Thank you for giving us something to celebrate amid all the doom and gloom of our daily news.

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