Thursday, April 16, 2009
I rarely watch the news - there are hardly any good news these days. But before going to bed last night, my wife turned on a channel and a news team was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Maersk Alabama crew at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. We watched along as a hundred or so family members got ready to welcome the 19 sailors of the US merchant ship that was seized by Somali pirates last week.
Finally, after midnight EST, some good news - they're finally home! What a relief it must be to the family members who, for several days, were unsure about the safety of the men in their family. These are fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, and friends to dozens of people. They could be anyone that we know. All stood strong against challenges that could have cost their lives and we rejoiced along with their families as they were reunited together.
The joyful faces of the men as they went down the chartered plane said it all. There are worse things happening around but to the family members, their loved ones are home - and nothing else matters. I join the dozens of bloggers around the world in welcoming these brave men home.
Another arrival that will be heavily anticipated in the coming days will be the coming home of the Maersk Alabama's courageous captain, Richard Phillips. The captain offered himself as a hostage, at the risk of his life, so the rest of his crew will go unharmed. Phillips was rescued Sunday when U.S. Navy snipers on board the USS Bainbridge killed his three captors. The captain was scheduled to reunite with his crew, but the USS Bainbridge was diverted to assist another U.S. merchant ship that was attacked by pirates earlier this week. Captain Phillips was expected to leave Mombasa to return to the United States later Thursday.
Photo Credit: Voice of America ; Related News: Maersk Alabama Google News