Perhaps it’s because I work in the news biz, but I’m fascinated by stories like the youth soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand. The 12 players and a coach survived
10 days of isolation deep underground until they were found a week ago – all of them alive. Four more players were removed by divers Monday –rescued — bringing to eight the number brought to safety.
Think of it: 11 hours to bring out four people Sunday; nine hours on Monday for four more. In twisting, narrow, flooded tunnels and passageways, divers guided the youth out to safety, essentially hugging them to their own bodies while swimming out. None of the children knew how to swim before this, and certainly not how to dive.
Given the value we seem to place on life these days, it might have been easy to simply wait for the passage of time to solve by inaction this heart-wrenching problem. Instead, from around the world, more than 100 experts are now on site, most of them willing to risk death underground to save these boys (indeed, one rescuer has died). Four boys and a coach remain in the cave and are expected to be rescued Tuesday. Around the nation, the populace is transfixed. People line the road to await the ambulances. Police are at the hospital, guarding waiting stretchers at the entrance. This whole situation is a testament to perseverance and grit and selflessness. In its way, an example.
I wrote last week about Gen. Israel Putnam, for whom our county is named and who viewed dimly, exceedingly so, corruption in the guise of public service. So it was striking that word came in recent days that disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will indeed receive his $64,000 a year pension. And, the trial involving the corruption mess that grew out of our governor’s Buffalo project continues, as does the retrial in the federal case against Dean Skelos, former majority leader for the Senate Republicans.
Boy, that does seem like a lot of bad behavior and corruption, doesn’t it, even for New York?
Until next week.
Douglas Cunningham is publisher of both the Courier and its sister paper the Putnam County News and Recorder, in Cold Spring. Letters on this or other topics are welcome. Limit to 500 words. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can reach Cunningham at 845-265-2468.