Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My sympathies to the West Virginia miners' families

When the fetching Mrs. Wookie and I went to bed last night it was to the story that 12 of the 13 missing had been rescued. We watched the video of the families rejoicing and singing, just to discover this morning that there had been a miscommunication, and 1 and been found alive and 12 had perished.

Beyond the tragedy, I have to say what has the media come to?

As I watched the coverage last night their were hundreds of reporters and photographers around these people as they received the information that told them their loved one's were alive. I couldn't help but feel sorry for them despite the obvious joy of the moment, however brief it was. And I went to bed thinking could I be as gracious as many of these family members were during this horrific, trying time, granting dozens of interviews to media outlets from around the world?

I thought of the dozens of news shows that were going to be calling and practically begging for interviews with the family and survivors... trips all over the country to do the Today Show, Dateline, CNN's 360°, Hannity & Colmes, and the Tonight Show. Would I be so gracious and patient? I don't know that I could.

Watching the events unfold for the 5 minutes worth that I saw, all I could think was leave those poor people alone. They were wrecked with grief over possible the possible loss of husbands and fathers, overcome with joy at the erroneous news that 12 survived, and then I'm sure completely stunned when they found that the initial survival reports were 180° wrong. And that was all captured on tape, fed around the world live for more than 24 hours straight.

God be with them now, and to the media: please grant them a chance to grieve in peace. Without the cameras.

UPDATE 1/5 @2:20: The story becomes even more painful to hear as we learn that some of the miners who died left meesages for their loved ones.

Some of the miners who died left notes behind assuring relatives that the final hours underground were peaceful, the Associated Press reported."

The notes said they weren't suffering, they were just going to sleep," said Peggy Cohen, who had been called to a makeshift morgue at a school to identify the body of her father, 59-year-old mining machine operator Fred Ware Jr.

Cohen told the news agency the medical examiner told her notes left with several of the bodies all carried a similar message: "Your dad didn't suffer."