October 12, 2010
Posted: 04:28 PM ET
By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
(CNN) - A hero's welcome awaits them when they get to the top, not because they did anything markedly noble - besides defy odds - but because they showed us there is hope even when the worst seems certain.
By this time Wednesday, the historic moment should be long under way. After 69 days beneath the earth, the last of the 33 miners trapped in the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile should be preparing for their ascent to freedom.
Their survival, many will say, was born of the strength, patience and resilience God instilled in them.
Already, there have been myriad times a higher power was more than a mere specter or matter of faith to the men. Crammed like the canned fish that first sustained them into a space the size of a Manhattan studio apartment, they have expressed a oneness with the Holy Spirit that resonates with Chileans, 87 percent of whom are Christian.
"We 33 miners are walking hand in hand with God," miner Mario Sepulveda reported on August 31, about 26 days after the mine collapsed and nine days after the world first learned they were alive.
Another 42 days have passed since that profession of faith. Each day has doubtless required similar, sustaining thoughts.
Filed under: Breaking News
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