Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miner Rescue

I am sitting here watching the miners in Chile come up from thousands of feet underground one by one - they are being rescued and are being returned back to their loved ones. It is striking me in an odd way - tension for those remaining, grief that they lost these past two and a half months and have had to endure such an event, and relief that at least three of them have been rescued. I can't even begin to imagine what they have gone through, what their families have gone through, or how this profound event will change their lives. I understand only a tiny bit of what the rescuers are discussing in Spanish - what they are sending back down as they prepare the capsule for the next descent into the cave that these miners have called home for 68 days. But what I do understand is how far we've come from writing these men off year ago - trapped so far underground. Technology has allowed us to not only rescue them, but discover that they were alive in the first place, then communicate with them from the get go. This has allowed professionals to help them at each and every step of the way, assessing and building plans for their safe return to the surface. This has allowed their family members to communicate with them as they are trapped down there, giving them hope. And this has allowed all of us to watch and wait and participate in a way that we never could before.

Yet there are 30 men still down there, and it will take hours, even days until we see them all emerge. I guess the feeling is a little overwhelming - technology has brought us right up to the rescue site and we will all sit and wait now to see the safe return of all of these men - these total strangers who have become a part of our lives. Safe journeys to all of you.

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