The steaming heat of the height of summer in Cyprus wraps around us in this human drama, further testing the endurance of these men, women and children who've already been through too much. Under the noon-day sun we watch the imposing hull of the USS Nashville fill the dock, while the refugees cheer and call out from the railings of the deck. After a long line of Marines in desert fatigues files off the ship to make a protective cordon, the people begin to stream off and they just kept coming, and coming, and coming.
For most of them, fear seems to have been replaced by exhaustion, but the worry lines on the faces of the grown-ups are visible, as they try to keep their nerves for the sake of the children. But the Marines are very impressive. Offering a calm, helping hand, and a smile to everyone who needs it, and guiding the young and old down the very steep staircase from the tall ship. At one point, three Marines in a row trot down in lockstep, each carrying a stroller, with the same ease and comfort they normally display with an M-16.