Back in those halcyon days when a man’s tax dollars actually bought him a piece of some magnificent hardware, we sent men to the moon. This year marks the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11 and, in fact, 46 years ago today Neil Armstong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were the very first men to walk on the moon. It was a moment in time when it felt like the aspirations of the entire human race were epitomized in the actions of two men. The event was broadcast live and was watched all around the globe. There were people who called the space program a waste of money, but I can tell you that in my lifetime there has never been another event like the moon landing that, if even for only a few hours, brought the whole globe together into one family. And so for those moments alone it was worth whatever the cost.
Spare 15 minutes of your time and watch this video – made for schoolkids, but suitable for all ages. It sums up the whole Apollo 11 mission very succinctly.
Now take a few minutes and think about how this was accomplished in fewer than 10 years. The technology used was primitve comared to what is commonplace today – our cellphones are more powerful computers than those employed in the LEM and Command Modules. There was no such thing as the internet. Yet the task was completed and resulted in at least a few hours of international brotherhood. Something that we couldn’t do today even if we tried.
Though Congress had voted in favor of actually declaring independence from Great Britain on July 2nd, Thomas Jefferson was selected to draft the document and after 2 days of writing and editing, the text was ratified on July 4th. This was not a trivial act – it was an act of treason. Were the revolution to fail, it would mean a death sentence.
Listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence here.
Reflect for a moment today on what we have to be grateful for, because some men a few hundred years ago had the courage to draft and sign a document.