Sunday, Jul 22, 2018
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Editorials

The age of miracles

  • Thailand-Cave-Search-36

    Thai media listen during a press conference about the successful rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Thailand-Cave-Search-35

    The last four Thai Navy SEALs come out safely after completing a rescue mission inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach had been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

“These are the days of miracle and wonder,” croons the troubadour, though much of the time we do not feel that way. Our days are filled, it seems, with conflict and controversy.

But good news, miraculous news, unites people, just as tragedy does.


WATCH: All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thai cave

Americans were last really united in the immediate days after 9/​11. Before that, one would have to go back to World War II to see or experience national unity.

And yet, intermittently, the whole world unites over a humanitarian crisis — or the crisis averted.

So it was as the whole world watched the rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a flooded underwater cave in Mae Sal, Thailand.

It is the duty of human beings to make our own miracles — with ingenuity, rigor, action, and courage. Miracles do not come from the sky or a burning bush these days. They come from us, when our hearts are large and our minds are tough.

Eight days elapsed from the time the boys were found to the time they all tasted freedom again. Three days, incredibly, is what it took to execute the rescue — nine divers each time, and the arduous three-hour swim through passages that were, in some cases, so narrow, oxygen tanks had to be temporarily removed. A Thai-led but international team of doctors, nurses, soldiers, and first responders waited on land to help and sustain. (Check out the London Evening Standard for the best diagrams and maps of the cave and passages.)

Never believe those who say there are no miracles in this world and these days. Every time a healthy child is born, it is a miracle. Penicillin is a miracle. Cataract surgery is a miracle. Helping cancer patients to live years instead of weeks, is utterly miraculous. Stem cell research may lead to miracles.

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The first is an act of God. But the rest are the creations of human beings — the result of intellect and will. Those boys could have been given up for dead. Realistically, the odds of rescuing them — all of them — were overwhelming.

But rescued they were. And now they are eating ice cream and headed to the World Cup. The heroes among us are the ones who point us toward what is improbable and unrealistic, but possible.

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