WE HAVEN’T STEPPED MUCH SINCE
Most of them have been small and backwards
(July 20, Houston, TX) How far have we have come from those moments of awe and wonder 39 years ago tonight when the world, every corner of every continent shared in a feat, an achievement by America yet appreciably remarkable by every human alive that night. That it was largely, briefly able to be viewed simply for what it was: the first time a member of our species stepped foot on another world, was powerful evidence of it’s significance for all mankind.
The world of 1969, muck like today, was rocked by upheaval, war, famine, disease, hunger and the dark looming cloud cast by the Cold War. Our own society here, in America was convulsing through cultural, political, social and generational issues that had the potential to tear us from our foundation. Perhaps one has to have been of a certain age in 1969 to fully appreciate those traumas.
The character and courage of those involved in NASA in during those years has been amply documented in books, films and documentaries. The ingenuity, intellect, persistence of the thousands of others from virtually every State who played a role in the fulfillment of JFK’s challenge to the country is also legendary. We need not discuss any of that here.
Tonight, we should each just look at the moon a remember, if we alive at the time,if not, just imagine the magnitude of what was done under Cold War conditions, with a war raging in Viet Nam, riots at home and technology that was beyond primative when compared with todays.
That ‘one small step” for mankind was to be the harbinger of great things to come in the sciences , medicine, technology and industry of every kind. It was a moment of progress. Sadly, not enough of the powers that had been at that time and since recognized the mantel JFK requested we pick up.
That small step on the Moon was, arguably, the greatest human achievement in history. We’ve not taken many single small steps forward, just far too many to count, backwards.
In honor of the pioneers of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Programs would made us all proud and the world momentarily shared in our pride and, perhaps some, have never forgotten the awe and wonder of it each time they caught a glimpse of the moon.
We are capable of anything; that was proven almost 4 decades ago. Disheartening to see just how little, of practical value has been done over the intervening years.
As an aside: The Space Shuttle Program and International Space Station have accomplished less over their decades of bloated budgets, technical gaffes and failures. None of the people who have taken a ride on a Shuttle or lived in Skylab, Mir of the ISS have an iota of the traits the original astronauts did. A bozo like Story Musgrave had the audacity to be critical of John Glenn when he made his return to space. That is the character on today's NASA. Abolish it. Rebuild our infrastructure. Economically find practical solutions to real, for pressing some of the pressing scientific, medical and environmental problems of today. The generation that put man on the moon? Imagine what they could have achieved in 39 years.
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