"I'm happy and emotional," a tearful Winnie Bezama Murray, 57, told The New York Times from a Chilean restaurant in Manhattan. "All the world helped our country. I love my country, I'm proud for my country, for Chileans."
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The first miner emerged late Tuesday night, drawing many to televisions, radios and computers to catch the first glimpse of the men some feared would never be seen alive.
"I'm overwhelmed with happiness," Shari Atukorala told CNN from Sri Lanka, tears streaming down her cheeks. "This is a very emotional moment."
A Mexico City man, Juan Lopez, followed the developments, thinking of his grandfather, a silver miner in the center-east Mexican state of San Luis Potosi.
"My grandfather would be happy to have the focus on miners because the world rarely focuses on the dangerous conditions they work in," he told CNN's iReport.
"I'm a high school English teacher in Japan. It was supposed to be a day off for me, and I was planning to catch up on my reading," Tetsuro Umeji of Kudamatsu City, Japan, wrote in to the BBC.
"But now my eyes are glued to the computer screen as the rescue is broadcast live," he wrote. "Absolutely amazing! Congratulations, Chile! I will keep my fingers crossed until the last of the 33 miners is brought to the surface!"
R P Barthwal in Gangtok, India, wrote the BBC: "Dedication, devotion and determination and never saying it's not possible. The world has been given an example of encouragement as to how to carry out disaster management in such a grim situation. The Chilean rescue team and government deserve a special honor and reward."
Social networking sites were filled with congratulatory messages.
"What a fantastic effort by everyone involved, it restores your faith in human nature, well done to all the rescuers," Anthony Holden wrote on a Facebook page for the miners.
"So glad they didn't have to wait until Christmas to get out! :-)," Denise Shipp wrote on the page.
"Chilean miner rescue worth celebrating. Am happy for their family and the nation. Bravo to the engineers that makes it possible ...." said a Twitter post from temiloluwa.
"It is thrilling to see the valuable lives of people being rescued after such a long time of hopelessness and desolation," Joseph Olupot in Arua, Uganda, wrote the BBC. "I could not contain my happiness. I am delighted. I join the Chileans in celebrating."