Sunday, February 8, 2009

Goose bumps - of the good kind

Just watching 60 minutes interview with the crew of the US Airways flight that ended up in the Hudson. I think the word 'Hero' is often over-used, particularly in American media/culture (I mean, I once heard a girl tell a starbucks barista that he was 'her hero' because he could make her a particular kind off coffee) but this is one time where the word is completely and truly apt.

What a calm, understated and thorough professional Captain Sullenberger is. The rest of the crew too seems utterly professional but the Captain is truly remarkable. In addition to his skills in landing the plane at the correct speed, angle and balance and his professionalism both during and after the incident- I've admired how quietly introspective, gracious and humble he has been about the whole episode. I appreciated his discomfort with the word 'hero' but his understanding of why people may need to say that.

Some people have seen in Captain Sullenberg an image of the kind of leader that America has long missed- his calm in the face of daunting odds, his humility and thorough professionalism seemed to foreshadow what people hope to see under Obama's leadership. The timing of the incident, coming so close to the inauguration, begged those comparisons. I find it an interesting thought but having seen this, I find something even more moving in the notion of a group of average people just doing their job to the best of their ability, with no thought to legacy or image.

It also was officially the first TV event of the year that made me cry... so I figure it's worth blogging about.

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