The Power of Fast Rescue

October 14, 2010

All thirty-three trapped Chilean miners were rescued faster than authorities thought possible yesterday. Their feat of endurance and the rescuers’ act of perseverance demonstrate how incredible human beings truly are.

In a strife-torn region (Bolivia has some beef with Chile),  the miners’ story brought together not just the nation itself, but the entire world edged a little closer as we followed the story live. The term algeriá (Spanish for ‘joy’) could be found all over Twitter yesterday. U.S. President Obama, German Chancellor Merkel and even the Pope were rooting for the rescue workers and their charges.

This crisis moved me on another level, too. Families were staked out for almost 70 days as they followed the rescue efforts minute by minute. Anyone who has loved ones working in seriously dangerous jobs (miners, oil rig workers, police and firemen and women come to mind) knows the fear that accompanies it. One learns to live with that gnawing notion in the back of one’s head, but it never really goes away.

I may not be from Chile, but somehow, after watching those people agonize for that many days, we’ve all become a part of something much greater than ourselves.

I bow deeply to those who risk their lives every day for me. Thank you for your courage.

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