1 year later: Chilean miner museum opens

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The dramatic and uplifting story of survival and a rescue that captivated the world one year ago unfolds in “Against All Odds: Rescue at the Chilean Mine,” a new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington. The exhibit opened Aug. 5, exactly one year after the mine collapse in Chile, in which all 33 miners survived and were rescued 69 days later. The technical skill of the rescuers can be seen in the drill bit that cut through nearly one-half mile of rock, and the Fenix rescue capsule constructed by the Chilean navy in consultation with NASA. That capsule was named for the phoenix, the legendary bird that is a symbol of rebirth. But the human spirit and faith that helped the miners endure is also on display, in the form of a small Bible, about the size of a hand, labeled Santa Biblia (“Holy Bible”), and the exhibit notes, “Miner Jose Henriquez, a committed Christian, read from this Bible when he led the men in daily prayer.” Displayed next to the Bible is a scuffed blue miner’s helmet, with earphones on the side, and in the front of the helmet, scrawled with a black marker, are the words, “GRACIAS DIOS” (“Thank God.”) That helmet belongs to miner Carlos Barrios, who also is seen in the exhibit in a large photo displayed behind the rescue capsule. As he emerges to the surface, smiling and waving, he has a simple white rosary around his neck.

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