Thursday, October 14, 2010

Real Life Heroes : : Anne McAllister

cminers1It isn’t often you get to watch real life heroism in action, but as I sat mesmerized on Wednesday and watched the rescued Chilean miners reach the surface one by one, I was conscious of doing exactly that.

Every one of them had a story and, of course, the stories could go in all directions from here. But I was tempted to take notes because some were so compelling. Fiction couldn’t compcminers2are.

And it wasn’t only the miners who qualified as heroes.

There was the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, who laid his political career on the line to do what he considered it his duty. There were experts from all over the globe who offered their expertise and their wisdom and their equipment to help people who were not exactly next door.

There are not that many really feel-good news stories theses days (or maybe ever) where you can have an unqualified happy ending. The story was, I heard one newscaster say, watched by over 1.2 billion people – twice as many as watched the moon landing 41 cminers3years ago. It was, he said, a drama that had captured almost as much attention as the last US presidential election, the Wimbledon final and the World Cup.

The difference, as I see it, is that each of these other events had a winner and a loser. Close to half the people watching any of those events would have gone away disappointed.

I didn’t see disappointment Wednesday night.

I saw elation, I saw jubilation, Icminers5 saw tears of joy and warm embraces. I saw people all over Chile and, indeed, all over the world celebrating heroism and perseverance and competence and the absolute determination in the face of awful daunting odds, not to give up.

Those are the people we write about. They are the people we fantasize about. They are the epitome of what we hope for – examples of what we want life to be like.

And sometimes, glory be, it is.

jefeI have to go write my own book’s happy ending tomorrow. I will – and, as always, I will be glad to do so. At the end I will feel satisfaction and the knowledge that I have created a world which celebrates honor and compassion and duty and love.

But in the light of what I saw on in real-life heroism on Wednesday --and during the sixty-nine days previous -- I’m afraid that for once a fictional happy ending may feel like an anti-climax.

Anne's book about George Savas, sexy physicist who some years and several books ago was locked in his laboratory and not coming out, has finally come out! It's called Hired By Her Husband and is out in UK now and will be out in US as a Harlequin Presents in January.


Pat Cochran said...

What a grand ending to the miner
entrapment! They proved that they
were well trained and their train-
ing helped save their lives. And
the cooperation of all those who
aided in the rescue is unbelieve-
able. God bless them all!

Pat Cochran

Anne McAllister said...

You are so right, Pat. Let's hear it for competence! I was so impressed by the skill of all those who had a part in the rescue as well as the composure of the miners themselves in an extremely dangerous situation.

Estella said...

What a wonderful ending for the trapped miners and their families!

Anne McAllister said...

I agree, Estella. I was particularly touched by the miner whose daughter was born while he was trapped underground. I understand he got to participate 'being there' through something like Skype. I don't know if they had video for him or not, but I think it's amazing that he was able to be a part of it. And I am so glad that yesterday he finally got to meet her and hold her in person.

gigi said...

I watched CNN when they were just starting the rescue. I watched all throughout the next day with my fingers crossed and tears in my eyes as they pulled the miners up through the earth.
When the last miner was rescued I finally breathed easy and was so happy.
When human beings put their minds to something something gets done.

Mary said...

I watched this whole thing on tv, it was truly amazing. I'm so glad they all got out alright.

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you for your post, Anne.

I think one reason why so many of us paid so much attention to the story of the trapped miners is because in a sense, it was reality TV. But with a difference. It actually was real!

There was no chance that it was secretly scripted. We did not and could not know the outcome. Nobody could.

That made it all the more of a relief when all thirty-three miners were rescued after sixty-nine grueling days underground. Theirs is a story of heroism in a world where this quality is much in demand yet short in supply.

We can read all sorts of symbolism into this saga, For example, these men were lost and seemingly dead, yet yet were found and eventually emerged into the world again. Their rescue can be seen as a rebirth. It's not for nothing that the rescue capsule is called the Phoenix.

Right now I hope that the miners who want adulation will enjoy it, and those who don't will be allowed privacy.

And of course, I hope they get time and a half for overtime!