May 14th, 2008
04:54 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Hope

Erica Hill
360° Correspondent

In case you missed John Vause’s report last night, I urge you to check it out online, along with the other reporting coming out of China.

When John was speaking with the local Communist Party rep for one of the town’s near the epicenter, I thought his assessment of the thousands missing and the damage was bad enough. But when he started to talk about the dead…that he had stopped counting at 500, and that his parents, his wife and their two children were among those who’d been killed my jaw dropped and heart ached for this man.

Amidst the tragedy and the tears, John and his crew have also come across incredibly kind, gracious people. And there are some glimmers of hope, even two days after this quake hit. A woman eight months pregnant was found alive after spending some 50 hours trapped in a pile of concrete slabs and debris. If that doesn’t give you hope, I don’t know what can.

These reports are so compelling, and I believe so important for all of us. Yes, politics is taking up much of the ink and airtime these days, but we can’t forget our neighbors across the globe who are struggling to survive right now. For more on how you can help, check out Impact Your World.

The “power of forgiveness” sometimes overshadows the strength it takes to forgive. A woman who saw her family slaughtered in the Rwanda genocide – she witnessed her seven month old nephew killed in front of her, followed by his mother, his aunt and others – says she has forgiven those who took her family. She watched these people rape and beat people, and bury others alive in holes they made the victims dig. I am in awe of this woman’s strength.

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Tracey Anderson - Boston, MA


    The lady in Rwanda, by forgiving, she released hate from her soul. Now there is more room for the things that matter.

    I have never experience anything worse than a snowstorm. I can not imagine how I would feel to lose everything in an instant. How comforting to know that after all that has happen to the People of China they are playing cards because they KNOW that they will be evenutally taken care of.

    I wonder if the people of Burma feel that way?

    May 15, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  2. L. Luster

    I have always voted primarily democratic and my family have always been strong supporters of the democratic party.but I will not vote for Obama if he is the democrat nominee. It has nothing to do with his race, I do not have any trust in anything he has to say and don't think he would be a good leader for this country. I am extremely disappointed in Edwards support and will never support him or anyone else that supports Obama. If Obama is the Democratic candidate, I will vote for McCain. I may change my registration to Republican or Independent. Everyone needs to leave Hillary alone and let her continue. L in Eastern Kentucky

    May 15, 2008 at 6:03 am |
  3. Mary Jurberg

    The MEDIA "side" with Obama glorify him,praise him .and degrade, distorting everything Clinton says and does.....! AND PROCLAIM him the winner before the voters had a change to finish voting?????? Is this America ? the good thing is that Clinton find out whom betray her ,that she though her friends??? this is a mocker of electing , by the people ....?

    May 15, 2008 at 5:37 am |
  4. mike azzu

    Mr Cooper

    Was very shocked when Mark Halpern and Joe Klein, with a devious message about Mr.Obama trouble with his name and pasotor. It was great that you had a Fair lady on the panel.- 5/14 9PM- Who selects the panel, for you. It is only fair that american fight for one USA and not be blind. There is no room for a BLIND jewish venue, Some are racially blind and they can pull all strings, We have to shut up.

    Long live fair people

    May 15, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  5. Stephanie, WV

    Erica, hope is an essential part of the human element. Stories like this put into perspective how petty some of our concerns really are...Although the media coverage of the hope amist the devastation is uplifting I really wish the video footage would not show the deceased. It is the worst type of disrespect, especially the bodies of children. It really breaks my heart what we'll do for ratings and what we are reduced to as humans. I am saddened.

    May 15, 2008 at 12:38 am |
  6. Chris in Indiana

    First of all, Mr. Klein makes me ill (I wish that you would not hire him.). Also, when I see Edwards, I see a loser. He has lost time and time again. I would not want to be connected to him if I were Senator Obama.

    That being said, I am a democrat; however, if Senator Clinton is not on the ticket, I will vote for McCain (I don't want to hurt Senator Clinton; however, I just couldn't vote for this man, Obama without Senator Clinton on the ticket.....just can't do it).. Senator Obama's character has a major flaw. How could he attend a church that preached such horrible things for 20 years and not get the hint that maybe, just maybe something wasn't quite right? Major character flaw. Also, his wife, Michelle Obama is going to hurt his campaign. Wait until the Republicans start on them; it would be ridiculous. His only hope is Senator Clinton.

    He cannot win the General Election without Senator Clinton. And yes, I have a college degree.

    Chris in Indiana

    May 15, 2008 at 12:18 am |
  7. Jolene

    Thanks for the link to Christiane's interview with a survivor of Rwanda's genocide. It always amazes me when someone can find within themselves the desire to forgive those who subjected them and their family to such horrific inhumane crimes. If it hadn't been for the church, she herself may have not survived. It's also wonderful that the women have found a way to develop themselves and gain confidence by weaving baskets. I wish her luck, she is an inspiration.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    May 14, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Sean in Dallas

    The disaster in China is just terrible! Whenever I see those poor people on TV I just wish I could jump through and hug them. And the lady from Rwanda..well, she's just amazing. I don't think I could ever find any forgiveness in my heart for those people.

    I like it better when Erica ends on a positive note. Alas, this is all just soooooo depressing. I'm ready to drive my car into a brick wall.

    May 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  9. Vilmarie

    Happy Wednesday Erica!

    Hope you had a great Mother's Day! Yes, the situation in China is devastating not just in physical terms but it's crushing to the human spirit just to see the events unfold.

    A group of people I know were flying out to China on Tuesday and their flight was delayed 24 hrs. I can't believe flights are still going out there. Shouldn't they wait further? Anyway, I just called and they all arrived safely. I can't believe that the Wall Street Journal correspondent reported on your show on Monday/Tuesday...I forget, as having felt tremors even if Bangkok is 900 miles away from the center of the earthquake. Amazing.

    We should all be thankful. When will it happen next in NYC is my question.

    All the best.


    May 14, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  10. Annie Kate

    Hi Erica

    I felt for the man in China too that gave the tour of his hometown; to lose parents, wife, children all in one blow must be devastating. I admire his strength of character to give others a helping hand in a time when he must want to grieve. So very heartbreaking to see these stories and the human loss in them.

    I wish 360 would spend less time on politics and more time on international news. The political game right now is a soap opera that really doesn't change that much from day to day – there is a whole world out there outside of America and we need to hear about it too.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 14, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  11. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Hello Erica, it's nice to read & see other news, it's to bad that it's really bad news.. but like u said there is hope I saw how excited they were when they got the pregnant woman out..and Burma? Egypt (food cris.)? India (bombing)? oh so much.. who care what John Edwards does now.. see u tonight.

    May 14, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  12. Michael, NC

    These stories are so encouraging, it shines a little ray of warmness inside me. 🙂 It is always good to hear of hope in times of such crisis such as China.
    The woman from Rwanda, she must be a lot stronger and a WHOLE LOT better of a person than I am because forgiveness would not be on my mind. It amazes me how kind and merciful people are. Her forgiveness is a sign of that, and I have a lot of respect for her for it.

    May 14, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  13. Megan Dresslar

    Hello Erica,
    I also agree with you too, that is so sad for China people, I hope that all people, kids, or else will pull them out rubble the building, I saw one little girl is safe from rubble for 50 hours! that is so amazing, she is alive........ she is miracles girl! andI watch on CNN news this morning, I hear more people are fear missing or death up to more dozen thousand. Please pray for China people. My hearts go to China people again.......
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    May 14, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  14. Lilibeth


    I too hope that more survivors come out of the rubble in China. The story of the pregnant woman found alive is a miracle indeed...so one should never give up hope because you never know what miracles will emerge.

    I’d like to think of forgiveness as letting go of the hurt and pain. We may not necessarily condone the behavior of the person we’re trying to forgive, but if we are willing to let go of the anger and don’t feel pain anymore when we think about the person who has hurt us, we have forgiven and our hearts have more room to love. And when we love, the things that we lost before we forgave...peace and happiness...find their way in our hearts and souls again.

    See you tonight.

    Edmonds, Washington

    May 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  15. CaseyJPS - California

    "Yes, politics is taking up much of the ink and airtime these days, but we can’t forget our neighbors across the globe who are struggling to survive right now."

    Erica, as always, your insight and style is comforting. I sincerely appreciate what you give. On a less lighter note and relative to the quote, this is the perspective quite a few of us have been clamoring for on the 360 blog for awhile (did I use that rt?). 360 is included in the media frenzy that seems so focused on asserting that the U.S. is the center of the planet. It's just disturbing. Thank you, again.

    May 14, 2008 at 6:59 pm |
  16. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Stories like these make me realize how great our capacity for goodness really is despite horrible circumstances. I believe we are by nature intrinsically kind, loving, and selfless. Just think how awesome it would be if we all concentrated on that instead of the bad. Maybe over half of America wouldn't have to be medicated. It's a thought anyway. Thanks for the happy post today. I needed it.

    May 14, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  17. Eugenia

    The tragedies that have unfolded in China the last couple of weeks have been beyong belief. To see so much destruction and heartache is hard watch or imagine. Within days, Mrs. Bush was on T.V. to urge their goverment to let the U.S. come in with aid supplies.

    If a hurricane was to hit the East Coast of the U.S. and then a earthquake on the West Coast:

    Would they do the same for us?

    San Francisco, Ca

    May 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  18. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    The stories of the miracles in China are so good to hear. It is horrible the loss of lives but hearing about the few that were found alive does bring hope.

    Forgiveness is such a powerful force. We should all try to forgive a little more

    May 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |