Earlier tonight, I was sitting at my desk, sipping a cup of tea, while I used my portable personal computer to watch video that was streaming wirelessly in my home. The video I was watching was live coverage of something happening. The event I was watching was taking place five thousand miles away: a bunch of people rescuing 33 miners from the hole more than 2000 feet below the ground where they've been trapped for more than two months.
This event is really, really amazing. I can't think of any other words for it. First of all, those miners themselves are astounding. They kept their heads and their wits about them for two months, especially at the very beginning when they were likely the most terrified and confused about what was happening. And the rescuers -- they didn't rush things or stab in the dark. They studied the problem, thought about it, and came up with the best possible plan. Which they then executed perfectly.
Watching today's rescue unfold, I was thinking of the movie Apollo 13, and the true-life events surrounding it. That, too, was a case of people trapped in a life-threatening situation in a place where they could not be easily reached; that, too, was a case of people working together in a staggering display of teamwork to solve the problems to bring them home. Both the tale of the astronauts and the tale of the miners show what humans can accomplish when they're at their best.
Congratulations to everyone involved. What an amazing story!
(I'll bet that rescue capsule is very soon the most popular exhibit in whatever the biggest museum is in Santiago, Chile!)