John

Because Tales Of Heroism And Love Don’t Come Much Better Than This

In News on May 19, 2008 at 3:48 pm

It’s a disastrous situation in China following the earthquake, but out of the horror, comes hope. This great piece by Edward Wong about a couple trapped in the rubble captures an emotional depth that many writers should envy and take to heart. An exemplary piece of journalism.

An excerpt from the International Herald Tribune:

At the moment of greatest despair, Wang Zhijun tried to kill himself by twisting his neck against the debris.

Breathing had become harder as day turned to night. The chunks of brick and concrete that had buried him and his wife were pressing tighter by the hour, crushing them. Their bodies had gone numb.

Then there was the rain, sharp and cold, lashing at them through the cracks.

“I don’t think I can make it,” he told his wife, Li Wanzhi, his face just inches from hers, their arms wrapped around each other.

She sensed he was giving up. “If God wants to kill us, he would have killed us right away,” she said. “But since we’re still alive, we must be fated to live.”

And they lived. They were pulled from the rubble of their collapsed six-story workers’ dormitory 28 hours after last Monday’s earthquake, spared the end met by at least 32,000 others.

Their tale of survival is also one of a rekindled love, of two people who might have died had they been trapped alone.

They whispered to each other. They talked of their 14-year-old daughter — who would take care of her? They recalled their life together, the shape of it before and the shape of it to come, all the changes they would make if they ever got out alive.

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