"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An American Hero

Me...at age 8 and 1/2 ... July 1969.

That is me in July of 1969...the same month Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the surface of the Moon. I was completely and totally captivated by the event. 

We lost a great American hero today! I am sure much will be said about Mr. Armstrong in the upcoming days, so I thought I would share my take on him too.

I found myself as a young adult thinking... why didn't he talk more, do interviews, be more visible in public? Age has left me looking at those ideas from a different prospective. I have come to appreciate the way he handled the media and the attention that could have been lavished on him. He treated something that was an absolute marvelous feat of mankind with humbleness, something not seen too much these days. I believe he realized how much had gone into the trip to the moon, that it was not the work of one man, but the hard work of countless people who came together for an incredible mission. I like that he shunned the spotlight, and kept it from being about one man, but about the incredible adventure and hard work of many.

I am sad today that it seems our country has lost that "spirit of innovation" and "can do attitude" that made America a proud nation. The world stopped one day in July of 1969 and looked at something greater than just one person. They saw what we can accomplish when we work as a team with a goal in mind. Wouldn't it be great if we could recapture that attitude of exploration. We have been a country of countless "pathfinders" before us. Let us remember Neil Armstrong today and get back to making this country great.

Ronald Reagen said..." There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." 

Teachers, let us work hard to inspire this young generation to greatness. We are leaving them with some difficult tasks ahead, so it is our obligation to give them a spirit of hope.

A few years ago, I read First Man by James R. Hansen. It is probably in my top 5 favorite books. If you are anywhere close to the space nerd I am, it is worth your time.

Ironically, I am waiting on a possible hurricane. That same year in August of 1969, Hurricane Camille hit the Gulf Coast. Those are two events and the images that are emblazoned on my mind. I do sincerely history chooses not to repeat itself with the hurricane.

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