Faith in humanity restored

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Every once in a while, something happens that brings back my faith in human nature.

The rescue of the 12 boys from the cave in Thailand is one of those moments. Yes, it is a long way from Vicksburg, and yes, it didn’t involve anyone locally, but it’s the effort made by the rescuers that make this story one that should improve our faith in the human spirit.

Let’s face it. It would have been easy for Thai officials or the responders sent to rescue the members of the boys’ soccer team to just throw up their hands after several weeks of unsuccessfully trying to reach the boys and their coach and give them up for dead. Instead, they kept working for a way to reach them and developed a plan to rescue them from their predicament.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

For weeks, the story of the boys’ situation and the efforts of the Thai Navy’s SEALs who risked their lives to get them, were a regular feature on the cable news programs, and that coverage increased as it became evident the rescuers were in a race against time with the coming monsoon season to get the boys and their coach out of the cave and back to their families.

Why is this relevant?

Because the rescuers — the SEALs, volunteers, doctors and paramedics who stayed on the scene are indicative of the efforts of all first responders and military not only in this country but across most of the world.

These are people willing to give of themselves — some without pay —so people can live in safety knowing help is there.

When you work in the news business, you get to see the bad and the good in people and in their communities. You see things, like the recent shooting of a 17-year-old girl or any violent crime, and it shakes your faith in mankind, wondering how some people can do some very awful things to others, and you begin to wonder if our society is going to hell in a hand basket.

Then you see something like the rescue of those boys in Thailand or watch a firefighter go into a burning building at the risk of his own life to save a complete stranger. You watch a police officer console someone whose loved one has been shot or killed in a fatal wreck on the Interstate, or a soldier save a child in a combat zone, and suddenly that faith is restored.

I’m sure somewhere along the line, someone will read this and recall a bad experience with a police officer or other first responder, and I believe all of us have had some bad experience with someone in uniform. It’s all part of human nature.

But it’s good to know that somewhere there is someone willing to dedicate their life to protecting and saving us, and the rescue in Thailand is a good example.

And we need to be thankful people like that are here and ready to serve.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John