(from the Editors of London’s Daily Telegraph, telegraph.co.uk) – In these secular times, we are reluctant to talk of miracles. But no such reticence was on display in Copiapo, Chile, yesterday, as the first of the 33 miners trapped underground for 70 days was brought to the surface. The rescue has, indeed, been nothing short of miraculous. After the tunnel collapse on August 5 at the San Jose mine in the Atacama Desert, nothing was known of the miners’ fate for 17 days. Yet their colleagues and families never gave up hope. The discovery that the men had survived brought with it a new challenge: how to get them out. And the extraordinary success of the operation to do just that brought joy not just to the nearest and dearest of “Los 33”, but to the entire world, a welcome change from the usual diet of bad news. The television footage of the rescue capsule, appropriately called Phoenix, ascending through a claustrophobic, narrow shaft in the rock was like watching a rebirth. We were witnesses to a moment of great humanity: they were lost and are found.
The miners return to worldwide celebrity and an uncertain future. They are hailed as heroes, yet had no choice in their incarceration. The true heroes are, of course, the rescuers, especially those who volunteered to test the safety of the shaft and capsule. That took a particular sort of courage. Heroes, too, were the engineers and miners who put the operation together and executed it so well; the medics and nutritionists who ensured the men stayed healthy; and the experts from overseas institutions, such as Nasa, who offered their expertise. For Chile, struck by a dreadful earthquake in February and which this year celebrates its bicentennial, it has been a unifying national achievement – even if questions have yet to be answered about safety at the mine. Those are for later. For now we should celebrate the miracle of San Jose.
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1. What are the main points of “The Miracle of San Jose” commentary? (list at least 3)
2. For each of the main points that you listed in question #1, state whether you agree or disagree. Explain each answer.
- The last sentence of paragraph 2 says “…they were lost and are found.” What is the name of the famous Christian hymn (written by a former slave-trader who repented) that contains the lyrics “I once was lost but now am found…”?
- What is the next line of the song?
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.