Almost everyone has noticed and many have commented on the “69-day ordeal,” as the A.P. reporter Michael Warren termed the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. For most it was the heroism and fortitude of the miners and the skilled dedication of the rescue team.
One miner had been telecast many times from the mine and once he was out. The Chilean public began to see Mario Sepulveda as having a future on television. He nixed that idea immediately as he was on the ground: “the only thing I’ll ask of you is that you don’t treat me as an artist or a journalist, but as a miner. I was born a miner and I’ll die a miner.” Loyalty to craft, even a perilous craft.
Several men fell to their knees as soon as they came out of the shaft. Here is Esteban Rojas in prayer to Jesus. Blessed are those with faith.
I’ve written about Christian religious belief and the auguring of death in my Spine of May 1, 2010 on the rescue effort for Sergio Vieira de Mello and his U.N. comrades attacked by a truck bomb of Islamic fanatics.