Tears certainly came to my eyes as I watched the rescue effort tonight.
I recalled working side by side with an exiled Chilean miner on an assembly line in the late 70s in northern California. A refugee from the Pinochet dictatorship, we worked together in an electronics plant for several months.
I helped him get the job, as a gesture to friends in the Chilean solidarity movement, and he could ill afford to lose it, but when a battle broke out with management – intent on shutting down the plant and shipping our jobs to a non-union state or overseas – he stood with us, without any doubts.
He spoke no English and only a little Spanish, as he was of Indian descent. But we understood each other. There was a toughness about him that I knew you could only be born with.
I am not surprised that his brothers have survived this ordeal.