Just another sunny afternoon? Seems like something we all take for granted. Unless of course we haven’t seen it in a while – say perhaps a week. For a brave little boy named Ethan, the sun indeed shown brighter than ever before when he was rescued this afternoon from nearly seven days of terror in the darkness of a mad man’s bunker.
When an individual storms a school bus full of young children looking for the most innocent caliber of hostages to use for whatever his truly wretched mind hopes to accomplish, he has in my opinion allowed himself to become sub-human. I will not honor, by even mentioning his name, the evilness of this man. He executed a hero that day when he gunned-down Charles Poland Jr., the bus driver who gave his life standing between the children he cherished and the man who threatened them. Through his ultimate act of bravery, most of the startled children were able to escape untouched out the back door of the bus. All but one – a 5 year old kindergartener, whose struggles with asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit disorder would only magnify his questions of “why me?” This brave young soul known only as Ethan would become the focus of prayers and planning, by all who would play a part in working for his safe return.
We’re told the underground bunker that Ethan was dragged into was a mere 6′ x 8′, and once the door was closed, had only a PVC pipe for ventilation. Despite the fact that this mad man had prepared his space with the necessary items to sustain himself for an extended period of time, it was still indeed nothing more than a bunker. There’s something foreboding about being below ground in an enclosed space, devoid of natural light and fresh breezes, in an abyss that we as humans feel the unrelenting need to escape from. It was into this bunker that one of our youngest was dragged, by a man who had already taken an innocent life, a man whom at this point, had nothing left to lose.
For almost seven days, law enforcement and government agencies trained in the tactics of negotiation and rescue stood vigilant, doing everything within their power to effect a peaceful end. For almost seven days, a nation joined with parents and family to pray for the safe return of a child, a son, whose life hung in the balance. As the days wore on and communication with the abductor deteriorated, it became evident that young Ethan was now in imminent danger. Then, at that one moment that was precisely right, those sworn to protect life and safety moved into action with all the skill and determination needed to breach the bunker and quickly pull Ethan to safety. How exactly his captor perished is not yet known, but those details can wait. The threat is gone, and our worst fears are behind us. Because right now, a child is safe again – Ethan has seen the most beautiful sunshine at 3:12 this afternoon.