Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I'm sitting here now listening to the wrap-up of the awesome mine rescue in Chile. I'd been checking in now and then throughout the course of the day until it reached the point where (I admit somewhat shamefully now) I started to find it rather boring; eventually thinking to myself, "Yeah, yeah, I get it ... they're all going to make it out, let's move one ... "
And then, when it was time for my nightly dose of the O'Reilly Factor and the ongoing mine rescue interrupted that, I was downright annoyed.
For some reason, though, I left it on the Fox channel and continued to watch the news coverage until it was down to the last handful of survivors being brought to the surface. And as I watched, a strange feeling came over me, replacing the annoyance, and I became immersed in what was taking place  ... until the realization sank in that I was watching a truly great moment in the triumphs of mankind.
33 tough, gutsy, determined men were buried a half-mile underground for 69 days. For the first 17 of those days --- under the cool, calculated, methodic leadership of shift supervisor Luis Urzua (who even had the foresight to switch vehicular headlights on and off to simulate day-to-night transitions for the sake of the helping to maintain his men's mental well being) --- they survived on two spoonfuls of tuna, half a biscuit, and half a cup of milk every 48 hours. What an inspiration and what a great comment on the human spirit.
The whole world watched on and, rightfully so, cheered the success. Dozens of countries aided the rescue effort with everything from "space underwear" as contributed by Japan to a special drill bit from Pennsylvania to NASA's considerable input. As usual, the greatest amount of assistance came from the good ol' USA ... you know, that imperialistic, arrogant country that has been bullying the rest of the world for a couple hundred years now. Oh yeah. The Muslim world? --- you know, the ones our NASA chief (under the direction of President Obama) recently praised for all their advancements in math and science that practically made the space program possible at all --- take a guess as to how much they contributed.
But I digress ... I think the Chilean mine rescue will last as one of those "what were you doing when ...?" moments.
I was watching. And being inspired. I hope you were, too.
Persevere --- WD

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