Well, that was some week, huh? I had in mind to collect some of the better political pieces I’ve come across lately. Some of them have come from you – thanks, and you can be sure I’ll share them eventually.
But I also read that the conventions are earlier than usual this year—and that means that the time between the conventions and the election itself will be longer than ever.
So, instead, I’m putting on my happy hat and going down memory lane to conjure up sitting in my childhood living room, my mom and dad and sister and me all sitting close enough to the TV to be reflected in its glow, all of us watching humankind make its first step foot on the moon, July 20, 1969.
The anniversary of that occasion came and went too quietly and was lost in last week’s festival of bloviation.
But to this day, I still get chills from the grainy, blurry footage that at the time was a miracle.
I was 12 in 1969. By the time of the Apollo 11 mission, I’d already lived through a presidential assassination, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King also slain, and the assassinated president’s brother assassinated. There were race riots and student riots and the sexual revolution and drugs and the Viet Nam war raged.
Heady stuff. Still, somehow, this hot mess was regularly punctuated by moments of shared awe, as we watched—sometimes at school, sometimes at home—the missions of the Mercury, Gemini, and finally the Apollo programs.
Besides awe—at the technological achievement, of the courage, of outer space itself—we also felt a sense of collective pride. We were doing this. We Americans. With our support and our dedication. That was us up there. Together.
The first flight of the Mars mission is 2018. Can’t come soon enough.