What a wonderful way to end the week in Micronesia, with a Miracle!
Yesterday, the 28th of September, an Air Niugini 737 crashed in the waters of Chuuk Lagoon. Amazingly, all passengers and aircrew lived to see another day. There were some injuries, but all in all, it was a miracle and a testament to the pilots, aircrew and especially the people of Chuuk who responded brilliantly that day.
You may recall, nine years ago a US carrier landed in the Hudson River with no loss of life. That was the Miracle on the Hudson. Today, and halfway around the world, we have the Miracle in Micronesia.
It is so timely. Why? Because, as you may have seen on this blog, there has been a lot of racial tensions for the Micronesians, and specifically Chuukese, in nearby Guam and Hawaii. Editorials were written, social media posts were shared and a lot of bad press was generated on behalf of the Micronesians in these two places. They were called names that I would rather not repeat on this blog.
Just to be clear, the vast majority of Chuukese who live in Guam and Hawaii are cheerful, hardworking and humble people. They have done what every single group of people in the history of world has done. Moved from one place to another in search of better opportunities. Hardly a new thing. Hardly the last time this will ever happen.
So it was indeed a miracle that the whole world, and I mean WHOLE WORLD, was able to witness their fearless and selfless acts almost in real time. The first videos to come out showed a plane floating in the water and so many civilian boats helping passengers off. More than one passenger said the boats were there when the emergency hatch was open. Remember the majority of the boats were not rescue professionals but locals who ply the waters of the lagoon on a daily basis between the islands. They showed up cheerful, happy to help and projected an image that all was well and under control. No worries. Just another day in the lagoon. That’s how they made it seem.
Honor and remember
I hope that the actions of the 28th of September will be remembered for years to come. I hope that our fellow Pacific Islanders in Guam and Hawaii will remember that we are Humans (as I’ve said many times before on more than one platform). I hope that when the entirety of Micronesia is judged for the actions of a few, people will remember the few Chuukese who took action and represented the humanity of Micronesia to the rest of the world.
See you on the next blog or podcast.