Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m an emotional sap. I cry at Hallmark commercials and animal adoption infomertials. But what’s happening in Chile is a modern miracle I couldn’t ignore. (And of course, the box of tissues is right next to me as I watch live video from Chile.) And I just had to celebrate with the rest of the world.
More than two months ago when a copper mine collapsed in Chile, the world held it’s breath. Discovering that 33 men had actually made it to an underground shelter nearly 2,000 feet underground, the Chilean government predicted it would take until Christmas for them to reach the miners and even longer to rescue them. But 2 weeks later, a small hole drilled through the rock brought video images, medicine and additional supplies to the trapped miners. In relatively good health and spirit, they had managed to ration two days worth of food in the shelter. Each man received two spoons of tuna, a bite of peaches and sips of milk on a rotating basis. They had even managed to excercise in a portion of the mine outside the shelter. I am amazed and awed at their discipline and ability to remain calm under such terrible conditions.
The plight of these miners and their families rang out throughout the world and helped poured in. But it was a driller from Denver, Colorado, Jeff Hart, who left Afghanistan and immediately stepped up to operate the drill that finally broke through to the trapped miners earlier this week.
NASA stepped up to work with the Chilean government in keeping the miners spirits up under such dire circumstances. The miners were also put on a special “NASA diet” in preparation for their extraction.
I have never been so proud to be an American. No, the United States wasn’t the only country there helping in the rescue, but it did play a major role in the efforts to safely extract the 33 miners. Men, who for 66 days, have managed to survive the sweltering heat (90F) and cramped conditions. Now, they must squeeze themselves into a small capsule and take a 15 minute solitary journey to the surface to reunite with their families. Families who have only been able to communicate with the miners through letters.
I am in awe … speechless and tearful every time a man steps from the capsule. It’s times like this when I realize that sometimes politics and religion and economic bias can be put aside for the good of humankind.