Monday, April 21, 2008

Powerful Video

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have been born in what happens to be the richest country on the planet at this time in history. I gripe about my "problems": Maybe I had a hard time getting a data analysis computer code to work, or maybe I get annoyed that a product I purchased doesn't work the way it is supposed to. But it usually does not take long for me to notice something that reminds me: I really have no right whatsoever to complain. One of those reminders of how undeservingly lucky I am showed up on a web page I was looking at this morning.

I was browsing, and found a YouTube video that held my attention. This is a CBS News report from 1975. It shows the last rescue flight leaving from Da Nang airport at the end of the Vietnam War. Apparently, the president of World Airways had been flying humanitarian missions, using his airliner planes to help evacuate south vietnamese to Saigon as the North Vietnamese troops marched into city after city. In the case detailed in this news report, a plane intended to evacuate women and children refugees was rushed on the Da Nang runway by mostly enlisted south vietnamese male soldiers, desperate to escape with their lives. They climbed aboard the plane, pushing each other out of the way in their panic. After the plane took off, they found that only 5 out of the 200-some people were women. Another world airways airline flying alongside informed the pilots that the bottom cargo doors were open during the flight (which was restricted to 10,000 ft altitude because they were unable to properly close the stairway door, which was damaged by the mob) and that those open cargo bays were filled with people.

I do not have problems. I am no more deserving of happiness than the refugees shown in this video, and yet, by pure chance, it is unlikely I'll ever have to endure one tenth of the fear and suffering that many of these people had been through in the ordeal that led them to be so desperate to escape.

1 comment:

John Benac said...

Thats totally incredible.