The US news media didn’t talk much about this because it happened in an area that is not considered strategic in their point of view. Nonetheless, that doesn’t diminish its significance. I am talking about the rescue of twelve boys and their soccer coach in Thailand.
The rescue team and the whole nation of Thailand undertook a heroic mission as it strained every nerve to save the 13 who were trapped inside a cave. Laughter and tears go together. Humanity is still relevant and alive in Thailand today.
However, the rescue is not without grief. In the midst of the celebration by the 13 families, there is an unmistakable sense of gratitude as Saman Gunan, a former Thai navy diver who lost his life in the rescue effort. A nation thanked and grieved for its hero who set an example of altruism for all of us.
The 18 days were marked by dimming hopes, a sudden discovery, and the race against time to save the lives of the boys and their coach. Yet what made this story so powerful and absorbing was seeing humanity at its best. The rescue is a true inspiration. It has underlined what can be done when humans overcome their fears, pull together and put others first.
Twelve children were swallowed by the darkness last month. They have re-emerged into the light, and this was palpably evident from the visuals of the rescued that have gone viral for close to a week. The boys themselves, with their coach’s encouragement, have shown extraordinary fortitude.
In a divided world, the rescue has been a model of international collaboration. US military personnel, British rescue experts and specialists from China, Australia and Japan worked alongside the Thai authorities and the people in a heroic effort.
In an era of greed, many involved are unpaid volunteers. In an age of narcissism, they have shunned the spotlight. Amidst division, rancor and killings in different parts of the world, the successful mission to save the boys’ football team offers inspiration. There may be hope yet in a strife-torn world.