Tag Archives: condo collapse

Rescue turns to recovery

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The call that no one doubted would come has arrived.

Emergency services officials in Surfside, Fla., have told loved ones waiting to learn the fate of those caught in that June 24 condo collapse that there is no virtually no hope of finding survivors.

The effort now is to recover the remains of those trapped under the mountain of rubble.

Search at Surfside condo collapse switches from rescue to recovery, a devastating announcement for families of missing (msn.com)

It becomes a cruel waiting game at some point in these operations. To that end, while our hearts break for the victims of that tragedy and the loved ones seeking to learn their fate, the higher-ups among the officials in charge of the operation have made the correct call.

My family and I understand the grief and the pain of waiting word on a loved one who is missing and “presumed to have died.” A presumption never brings closure. You find yourself playing strange mind games, waiting for the miracle that doesn’t occur. Our wait was brief those many years as we sought to know what happened to my father. It came and with it came a certain relief that we no longer had to worry and wonder.

So it is with those waiting to know the fate of their loved ones.

A nation prays for their healing.

Tough to avoid comparison

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Try as mightily as I am trying to avoid making comparisons between presidents of the United States I must admit that the effort is taxing my ability to stave off such temptation.

President Biden has pledged full federal government support for officials digging out from the rubble left by the horrific collapse of the condo tower in south Florida.

That is what presidents do. They toss aside during these times of peril political differences — after all, Florida cast most of its votes in 2020 for Biden’s opponent — and speak with compassion and empathy. They serve an unwritten rule of the presidency, that they should serve as comforter in chief.

Compare that response to the Florida tragedy to what we heard when California erupted in flames a couple of years ago. President Biden’s predecessor castigated California officials for failing to maintain proper forest management and threatened to withhold federal money. Why? Well, to those of us watching from afar it appears that the then-POTUS was angry at California because it cast most of its votes in 2016 for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Therein lies the difference between a president who understands that he represents the entire nation and one who holds grudges and fails to this very day the ability to demonstrate any of the compassion that his high office requires of him in times of grief.

I welcome this return to the way our presidents are supposed to behave.

How do you make this call?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Of all the jobs on Earth that one shouldn’t ever want to have, I believe I have found the one job that no one should ever have to do.

It’s the one that requires an individual to decide when a “rescue” mission becomes a “recovery” mission.

That’s the call facing someone involved in the search for victims of that horrific and horrifying building collapse in Surfside, Fla.

As I write this brief blog post, 11 people are known to have died in the collapse of the condo tower; 150 are still missing and unaccounted for.

Crews are working desperately to find survivors. They’re getting help from teams from Israel, Mexico and perhaps other nations lending a hand to assist the desperate searchers. They have deployed search dogs to sniff through the mountain of rubble for any sign of life.

I only can imagine the difficulty of determining when to stop looking for survivors and start searching for human remains. I also know how difficult and wrenching it is to be a loved one waiting for word on the fate of whoever was caught in that disaster. My own father died in a freak boating accident more than 40 years ago and it was several days before they found his remains floating in a frigid inlet north of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. My heart goes out to the loved ones waiting for closure.

They don’t pay someone enough money to make that call.

I pray for their well-being and for their sanity as they wrestle with how to make this horrific decision.