I wallow. I'm a wallower. When grand-scale news stories hit, I'm glued to the tv, internet, radio, carrier pigeons. I'm the media's bitch when it comes to sucking it all in, refreshing my home page every ten minutes to see if there's any more news, any more stories, anyone else pulled from the proverbial wreckage. Obviously, bad news sells, and I realize I'm being completely manipulated by modern media, with their heartstring-pulling music, their pictures of survivors in shock, the occasional hero tale that surfaces. Conversely, I can't stand to see news stories of tragedy on a smaller scale, cameramen zooming in for a close-up of a grieving mother, her arms wrapped around a folded flag. It's too personal, too private. Not public domain.
Good-news stories are few and far between. So when I see the BREAKING NEWS banner scrolling and after a moment or two I realize that not only is it not bad news, it is, in fact, miraculous news, I'm hooked. It's justification for all the tragedy we've witnessed. For the loss of every stranger's life that I've wept over (and I do), I can wallow in good news for a change.
A pilot who has the courage and tenacity to make a life-changing/saving decision to land in water (which, to the best of my knowledge, flight instructors generally discourage) is just such a story. Yes, the governor of New York gave it a snappy name, "Miracle on the Hudson," and of course there were passengers on the Today show this morning, specifically a family of four with a four-year-old and nine-month old baby. Matt Lauer kept digging for the emotional breakdown, the soundbite that would sum it all up, and most of the time the mom just shook her head. I'm guessing she was still disbelieving that such a magnanimous event happened less than 24 hours previous, and she was alive to talk about it with Matt Lauer. How surreal is that?
Some of the more determined passengers boarded a different plane a mere several hours later; presumably, they really had to be in North Carolina. (As for me, there would have to be something a bit, how-you-say, special waiting for me in the Tar Heel State to get me on a plane within a few hours, like Bono and/or a lot of wine, or some really good cupcakes.) Those passengers were greeted with news cameras (obviously) and solemn hugs from their friends and family.
One thing that really stuck with me was a woman on one of the rescue ferries. She was wrapped in a blanket, and was positively beaming. She said, "This was the greatest day of my life!"
Pardon me, ma'am. It appears as though your glass is, in fact, half-full.
So a trite little shout-out to the hero of the day, Sully the Pilot. Well done, dude. Ballsy move, but it worked. I hope you get a fat raise, or at the very least, some really good cupcakes.