Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Todd Russell, Brant Webb and Larry Knight

Along with every other Australian, I've shared the high and lows of the fourteen days since the mine collapse on Anzac Day and Larry Knight's death. I was awake when the two survivors were finally freed just before five am local time and shed a silent tear when they walked from the pit-head cage and took their name tags from the board showing who was down the mine. Their black humor during the rescue made me chuckle, their determination to exit the mine as they entered it, on their feet, made my throat tighten.

I'm a proud Australian this morning, happy to share a bond with these men, however tenuous.

At one pm, when Lary Knight's funeral begins, I will be silent, remembering him and giving thanks for the miracle that spared the others.

This morning, and doubtless in the days to come, many claimed these men's conduct grew naturally from their nationality, their upbringing and their industry.

All nonsense, of course.

Courage, humor and grace under pressure has no nationality. We should salute them as individuals and be thankful that they exist as guidons for the rest of us.
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