In 1988, when reports of a devastating earthquake in Armenia were disseminated, a group of rescuers from the US states of Virginia and Florida immediately went to the rescue, the Voice of America reports.
What the rescuers saw in Spitak town was indescribable, recalls Don Bot.
During those years, American rescuers brought with them the much needed equipment and trained dogs that helped find people trapped under the debris. The rescuers, however, do not like to talk about the survivors, but they remember everyone who could not be rescued.
Florida rescuer Raul Chavez remembers how they were working to rescue a 13-year-old from the wreckage when a man had approached them for help.
Virginia rescuer Dan Buckham, who had witnessed many disasters before leaving for Armenia, said he could not imagine such a disaster.
The 1988 earthquake in Armenia set off another, very important work, says rescuer Walter Carper. He said the start of today's international rescue tradition dates back to the earthquake in Armenia, and everything in the domain is based on Armenia experience.
Armenians had suffered a terrible blow, their homes were destroyed, but their spirits were not broken, these rescuers say. US President Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, who had initiated the US assistance to Armenia, also had spoken about this same spirit.