Commentary: Chilean miners' rescue brings some good news for a change

Bad news, they say, travels fast. But sometimes good news arrives on its own winged chariot. Millions of people around the world gathered around their TV sets this week to watch the first of 33 trapped Chilean miners emerge from the rescue capsule.

In a period when much of the news runs the gamut from drab to bad, it was a great feel-good story — a shared experience on a global scale.

For the first 17 days of their captivity, each man was limited to a cup of milk, two spoonfuls of tuna, a cracker and, every other day, a bit of peach topping. But then they were located by a rescue drill, which bored a 3-inch-diameter hole and allowed those on the surface to send down basic supplies, medical help and communications technology.

The emerging story of how the miners survived portrays a group of men who held together and never lost hope. They had space to exercise and did so. They had a sort of waterfall for impromptu showers. They dug wells for fresh water. They kept busy cleaning out debris caused by the drilling and keeping their living area orderly. Just before their rescue, they spruced up and shaved.

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