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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Relentless Courage

As I write this, the entire world is witnessing the dramatic rescue of those 33 miners in Chile as each one is slowly pulled from their dungeon nearly half mile under a mountain. They've been entombed in the bowels of the earth for 69 days. That's over two very long, terrifying months trapped together in a black, sweaty cavern. It's been reported that temperatures in the mine average about 90 degrees.

To me these men are an absolutely amazing example of courage under extreme adversity. They are by all accounts, unassuming, uneducated, blue collar laborers...who toil at a physically demanding, dirty and dangerous job...most likely for not much pay. For the first 17 days after the mine collapsed...they were huddled together...with no communication from the outside world whatsoever. That's nearly THREE weeks of wondering if anybody up there would ever rescue them. I can't even imagine what it must have been like in that dark, slimey pit with very little food or water. Wondering day after day after day for 17 days how long they could survive. I'm not sure I could have lasted even one week without going stark raving mad.

For the first 17 days...when no hope of salvation was imminent...the miners defied the odds. They did not panic. They did not lose hope. They did not turn on each other. They did not form survivor alliances and try to outsmart one another. Instead they formed a brotherhood of solidarity. They organized. They prayed. They remained calm and courageous. They rationed two teaspoons of tuna per man per day for 17 days...among 33 men. Incredible!

After 17 days in darkness, rescuers were finally able to bore a narrow hole down to the mine and communicate with the trapped men. Eventually workers began funneling down food, water and other necessities. Yet even then, the miners were informed that a rescue tunnel might not be completed until possibly Christmas. It was to be another 52 days before a hole wide enough for a narrow steel rescue capsule was drilled all the way to the miners' chamber. Yet through it all, the miners were upbeat, cheerful, optimistic, watchful over one another and brave.

THIS JUST IN: All 33 of the miners and their rescuers have been pulled up to joyously blinding daylight! And how about those 6 brave men who volunteered to go DOWN the hole in the untested capsule to assist with the operation? Now that's heroic! The Chilean rescue team with help, support and equipment from around the world, put aside personal differences and egos and worked with due diligence to save these humble yet noble miners. The entire operation was executed with precision, swiftness and flawless ingenuity. The jubilant and successful outcome is truly a testament to the power of faith, fortitude, love of your fellow man, humility, compassion, persistence, tenacity and above all...relentless courage. Sphere: Related Content


Susan Anderson said...

I've been watching, praying, and celebrating. I've also been admiring and respecting.

These guys are the salt of the earth. I think we can all take a lesson from them.


ReformingGeek said...

It's wonderful news and thanks for the well-written story of their rescue!

Coffeypot said...

I was amazed that they had a hard time deciding who would go up first. They all wanted someone else to go. It was finally decided from above that the strongest of them would go first, in case there was trouble in the shaft. The one I feel sorry for is the dude whose wife and mistress were waiting on him. His mistress greeted him, his wife didn’t. If it had been me, I would have been the last to go up. I’m chicken that way.

They even had the President of Chili there. Imagin ours doing such a thing without a bunch of cameras and security personal around.

Kathy said...

It is so wonderful to see a happy ending to a mining accident isn't it? What great attitudes they all have. God Bless them all!

Unknown said...

Rejoice, rejoice and again I say Rejoice! Hallelujah!! 33 answers to prayer. A well written post.

Pauline said...

Isn't that just the most amazing story of human endurance? I'm in awe of those guys!

ChrisJ said...

What a wonderful ending to a horrific disaster. Can't imagine what it would have been like to be the LAST one waiting all alone for the cage to come down again!

Carol............. said...

This is indeed a show of heroics for all involved.

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