Monday, July 20, 2009

One small step...

pics courtesy Life Magazine via Google

(pic is of Buzz Aldrin; close examination of the reflection on his faceplate reveals the image of Neil Armstrong taking the pic)

40 years ago today, a phrase that will be written (or typed! :) ) so many times today that it will become nothing more than a cliche, America and the world experienced one of the few near-universally shared generational "where were you when?" moments.

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. Michael Collins remained in control of the orbiter above the moon.
Even now, four decades later, people remember exactly where they were and what they felt when they saw/found out about Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon.
An informal and unscientific survey of the folks that I work with determined that most were located in front of the nearest TV (probably listening to the late Walter Cronkite), riveted there by the images transmitted back from the moon, and most were feeling "WOW!"
NASA's Apollo 11 page is here.
Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins
My only question is when and why did America quit striving forward, creating a bright future for the U.S. and the world, and become nothing more than another generic corporate profit center?
Perhaps illustrating the generational difference, the Apollo 11 crew is calling for a push to Mars; Republican Senators U.S. are pushing for a return to Jim Crow-era attitudes (apparently because only rich old white guys are qualified to be Supreme Court justices) and Rep Senators AZ are pushing for unregulated Uranium mining because the Earth is 6000 years old and doing fine.
For today, let's enjoy the moment; tomorrow we can wonder how we've regressed so far so quickly.
Note: Tedski's pithy rebuttal to Senator Allen (R-Mining Lobbyist) is here.


Elizabeth Rogers said...

I cannot remember what I was doing that day. Oh wait, now I can. I was not existing.

katie said...

I was in utero. I'm sure my parents were watching. Maybe I absorbed the experience that way.